BLOG TOUR: Take Me Down by Carly Phillips

Parker Knight was going through the motions… and then he met her.

Parker Knight lived and lost his dream. Now he works for his family’s business, wearing a suit and pretending to be happy. A weekend away to plan a corporate retreat turns into a revelation when he lays eyes on Emily Stevens, the sexy owner of a small inn that’s seen better days. One look at Emily and the run down bed and breakfast and suddenly Parker has a purpose. He turns his short stay into a longer one, intending to act on the intense chemistry and desire that runs hot between them. While there, he plans to give Emily and her father’s inn a much needed infusion of cash and manpower.

Coming off an emotionally abusive marriage, Emily has an immediate bias against suave, city guys … But despite the slick exterior, Emily discovers Parker is sweet, charming and eager to help. And when she caves to their incredible passion, she discovers he makes her feel just as good in bed as out. Yet no matter how hot they burn or how well they mesh, Parker’s time with her has an expiration date. And Emily has an ex who refuses to accept that their relationship is over.

Parker isn’t a man who gives up. Sweet, sexy Emily Stevens is his chance to reclaim his life. He wants to take care of this woman who makes him feel … everything. If only he could figure out how to merge his two lives, everything would be perfect. But when her ex makes his move, Parker realizes what’s important. He only hopes he isn’t too late.

Title: Take Me Down
Author: Carly Phillips
Series: Knight Brothers (Book 3) 
Pages: 300
Genre(s): Contemporary, US
Hot Buttons: /

I have recently started to read Carly Phillips and I’m wondering why I haven’t been doing so for longer. She writes such fun and vibrant characters and stories that are so quick and easy to read but leave you with that happy, warm feeling of a satisfying love story.

This is Parker’s story and Book 3 in the Knight Brothers series. I’ve read Book 2 (Take the Bride) but not Book 1 (Take Me Again). While the Knight siblings and their significant others from their own books do appear in this one, it’s very fleeting and this book definitely stands alone without having read the others in the series.

There’s something quite simple about this story and how Parker and Emily fall in love. And yet it works so well. Parker is a city boy who at first seems like a fish out of water in rural Colorado -and definitely seems like someone Emily has no desire to get to know better. Even if he is hot and makes her hot, too! Parker has no such qualms about getting to know Emily and he lets her know it. When they both finally allow the spark to be lit, it’s hot and heavy against that car and continues in that same, sexy way.

I liked both our main characters - even more so that neither were perfect and each had to admit and own up to their own mistakes and realise exactly what pushed each other’s buttons. It was nice to see characters who had that human side that everyone can relate to.

The love story is also nice in that it’s not simple but not over angsty, either. There’s enough of that ‘fear’ about whether our couple can make it work or not to keep those pages turning. And they turned pretty darn fast for me. I finished this book so quickly that I was surprised when I realised it was 300 pages. But it was such a satisfying read that I’m not complaining.

Carly Phillips gives us another enjoyable love story in a fresh and fast format. I’m really getting into her writing and the stories she tells and hoping to go back and read the first book in this series, and hopefully see Ethan get what’s coming to him - love - in the next book (Dare Me Tonight). 5 stars from me for this book.







Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at






Kickin' It by Rachel Van Dyken

Successful, high-profile sports agent Matt Kingston thinks he can handle anything. Then soccer player Parker Speedman shows up at his door. She is young and gorgeous, has natural talent, and is looking for a team. She’s also a hothead with a punchy past who floored her last coach on live TV. Despite his misgivings, Matt agrees to be both her agent and her coach. Professional common sense says she’s off-limits. But what can he say about the raw attraction between them?

Parker plays soccer with her heart and soul. But after the events of the last year, she’s shaken. She’s already seen what a powerful man can do to a female athlete’s career. And her beloved dream is in the hands of a sexy, gorgeous man with the uncanny ability to slip past her defenses…and into her heart.

Now Matt and Parker are about to learn that when it comes to love, the only way to win is by breaking every rule they know. And by playing nice. Real nice.

Title: Kickin' It
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Red Card Series Book 2
Pages: 247
Genre(s): Contemporary, US
Hot Buttons: recollections and aftermath of abuse of power / sexual abuse <-- highlight to reveal (may contain spoilers)

This book is the second in Van Dyken’s Red Card series. While it does stand alone, there are two main reasons why you should read the first in the series, Risky Play. The first is that Slade, Jagger and Mack appear again in this book (as Matt did in the first - Slade and Mack’s love story). And the second reason is because that book was just as good as this one and well worth a read!

This story features superstar agent, Matt Kingston. Matt is driven, successful, hot and single minded. Oh, and grumpy. That is my crack right there. Love a grumpy hero! Even better that he’s so determined not to fall for, or then act on, his changing feelings for his new houseguest. So that’s grumpy and principled. Mmmm hmmm!

That new houseguest is Parker Speedman - the hottest young soccer player just coming into the leagues. She’s feisty, smart-mouthed and got quite the attitude on her. She’s combative and yet, she’s hugely vulnerable underneath. It’s hard not to love her - or at the very least want her to succeed both professionally and personally.

I loved Matt and Parker together. They rubbed sparks off each other constantly - but for valid reasons rather than just fighting for fighting’s sake. There was a heat and gorgeous chemistry with these two that made me root for them from the get go. And when they finally gave in? Delicious! (And in a wine cellar with fluffy blankets. That is the new dream!)

The real success of this story is that it tackles a delicate and upsetting topic with enough emotion to make you truly care, yet with enough tact to not let it overshadow the romance that we’re all really here for. It actually enhanced that romance and made it all the more deserving when we get our happily ever after. Oh, those feels, man! (With that said, the topic of abuse of power, especially with regards to sexual abuse/rape, may be a trigger for some, even though, as I’ve said, it’s handled very well.)

Van Dyken’s writing is so on point, it pulls you right into the story and makes you care for these characters from the first. And aside from our main love story, she writes male friendships so well. I just love Slade, Matt and Jagger together and their banter. I could probably read a whole book of them just taking shots at each other, bickering and bantering! Jagger and Willow (Matt’s sister) get together in this book but I’m still holding out hope for a full book with Jagger as our hero. That man’s ego is far too massive not to get a whole book dedicated to watching him be floored by love. Fingers crossed!

This is the second book I’ve read by Rachel Van Dyken and the second that I’ve loved. She brings her worlds and her characters to life and I think it’s time for me to go buy and read her backlist as she’s fast becoming a favourite of mine.


Buy this book now:





Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!



To subscribe to Rachel's newsletter, click here.


* I received this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. *



The Red Card Series:

Read Me Romance Season 2: Recap and Review

That's all of the books done for Season 2 of the Read Me Romance Podcast and it was another great season.

As well as all the usual banter, I found some really great new authors to obsess over and filled my days - and my ears - with all the wonderfulness of romance novels. I couldn't be happier.

Actually - I could be.

While Season 3 starts next week - yes, these girls take zero breaks! - there's some chat swirling that this might then be it for my beloved lady podcasters.

Please say it isn't so.

I will pay you to continue.

Probably not enough to make it worth your while, but I'll still pay you.

I wonder if I could start a petition to keep them on the air.

Maybe I could kidnap Tessa, Mel and Lea, fly them to Scotland and make them speak in my living room. Oooh - Tessa is coming to Edinburgh next June.

* Prepares her person-sized butterfly net and puts the kettle on to wait*

If you want to buy a book (assuming it's available in e-book) click on the book cover and you will be taken to the book page on Then, if you're not in the UK, simply click on the link on the right hand side to take you to the book page in your own country.

Read Me Romance is a FREE podcast hosted by New York Times Bestselling Authors Alexa Riley and Tessa Bailey.

At Read Me Romance, they bring you a new, original audiobook novella every week from one of your favourite authors! One section of the audiobook will be released each weekday, beginning Monday and ending with a perfect happily ever after on Friday!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss a single instalment!

Ariella Sterling was raised by a coven of vampires, but she was different than the rest of them. She was a miracle from the time she was born, and her parents worried about her safety. She was protected and cherished like no other because of her abilities, but something has changed since her eighteenth birthday. There’s a pain growing inside her and she doesn’t think she’s going to make it much longer. When the Grim Reaper walks in everything changes and now she’s got to fight for what’s hers.

Grim Reaper has spent years alone carrying out what he’s destined to do. But when he’s called to take another immortal soul, he realizes this one is different. From the moment he sees Ariella, he knows she’s his mate, but her family steps in and tries to keep them apart. They can do what they want, but there’s no stopping Death, and he’s going to fight for what’s his.

Warning: Does this all seem crazy to you? Well, that’s because it is! The Grim Reaper is here to fall in love and we’re supporting it one hundred percent! Sit back and enjoy their story without all the little details that don’t matter. It’s steamy good fun and we hope you love it, just like we do.
Title: Mated to the Reaper
Author: Alexa Riley
Genre(s): Contemporary, Paranormal
Narrator(s): Jack Stella & Robyn Verne
When it come to my reading, I've never been much of a paranormal fan - which I've always found strange as I dug Buffy back in the day and don't mind a bit of the other-worldy in my other telly viewing.

Anyway - I do enjoy Alexa Riley so I wasn't going to pass on this story, and, for the most part I enjoyed it. The story was classic AR but with a blood-sucking edge. Oh, and a classic case of blue balls for all with an interfering family. Just let the couple have sex FFS!

And da fuq is Jack Stella from? Is that voice real? Is the accent real? No - I really do want to know. Tweet me.

And from Jack Stella's Twitter - of course I stalked him! - I notice that he and the gorgeously voiced Robyn Verne were tweeting together a whole lot for a while. He even calls her Verne - swoon! Please let them be in love. Can someone write the story of two romance book narrators falling in love with each other? 😍 Gah - want!

Outcome: A fun book but not one I would buy.
He hadn’t done anything to deserve her…

Jaxson Swift felt like his hands were still dirty after the things he’d seen and done as a collector for a Las Vegas bookie. Although he left his past behind him, he never expected to find someone like his red-haired angel when he came to Chicago.

But that didn’t mean he was going to let her go…

Kiara Kelly is too shy to approach the smoking-hot bouncer who’s caught her interest. Lucky for both of them, Jaxson doesn’t have a timid bone in his body. And once he makes his move, there’s no going back for either of them.
Title: Bounced Into Love
Author: Rochelle Paige
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Lia Langola & David Brenin

The title, the cover - I thought I would die happy with this book...and I think I might have set my expectations just a touch too high. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it - I just think it suffered from my high expectations/giddiness.

I liked the fact that both were a little too wary to approach the other when they both liked the other. That was cute, even more so since Jaxson was a big, bad, burly bouncer dude.

Then it kinda slowed. It was sweet if I weren't so darn impatient!

Gorgeous voices - David Brenin's being the perfect gruff, burly, growly sound you want in your ears.

Outcome: I think I'm gonna go back and do a re-listen to see if I get more from it second time round.
Rear Admiral Dag Creasy has enjoyed a long, successful naval career. It’s not all been smooth sailing, but his beautiful and generous wife, Brenae, has been at his side for nearly three decades, helping him weather every storm. He loves her more than words can express, their relationship only growing stronger with every year. Now, they’re both excited and anxious for the completion of their dream home, where they’ll start the next chapter of their lives together…

If an unexpected menace doesn’t cut their storybook romance short.
Title: Securing Brenae
Author: Susan Stoker
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Savannah Peachwood

I do enjoy a story about an already married couple - and this couple have been married for a good number of years. I can't remember how many but I think I'm correct in saying that the story mentions that Brenae is coming up for 50.

Anyway - this is part of Ms Stoker's SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series and Catie from the first book in that series - Securing Catie, pops up in this book, too. I wonder if all the books are called Securing Heroine. (I was joking but I've just checked and yes, they are!)

I liked this story that was a nice mix of action, suspense and drama - for a short story, anyway. And of course we get our lovely alpha hero husband to save the day - or partly save the day since Brenae hasn't been the wife of SEAL and learned nothing!

Ahh - it's the lovely voiced, and lovely named Savannah Peachwood again (she narrated a story in Season 1, also). She really puts thought into the words she's speaking and I'm really enjoying the way she narrates. Normally I would prefer a male voice as well, but with this story, it works with just one.

Outcome: Enjoyed but haven't bought it...yet...but I've looked into longer books by Susan Stoker and stalked her on social media.
The team’s resident linebacker, Jerimiah, has gotten used to making people uncomfortable. He’s huge, intimidating and doesn’t have a lot to say. Until he meets Birdie. Now he can’t seem to stop talking, if only so she’ll say more. And stay a little bit longer. To be fair, she doesn’t really have a choice, since they just got locked in the basement together at a frat party…

Title: Halfway Girl
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult
Narrator(s): Lidia Dornet & Stephen Dexter
This was a cute story about two people finding acceptance in each other and with themselves. On the podcast, Lea dubbed Jerimiah as Wreck It Ralph, as he's a big, burly guy who has a heart of gold. And then we have Birdie (who I think appeared in previous Bailey books) who has her own issues - including Type 1 Diabetes - which isn't focused on too much but it's nice to see characters with real issues in our romances. If it makes even one person feel like they're not alone in facing tough things then I'm all for it.

Anyway - this was a cute romance with some outside sex in the rain. It shows my age when all I think of is the dampness and the smell rather than the sexiness of it.

Outcome: Enjoyed it. I especially like it when someone who feels so alone finally finds love and acceptance. Not planning to buy it, though.
Gerard Parish has always known who he is. A biker, a father, a gambling man. But one chance encounter with a beautiful brunette at his auto body shop and everything changes. The way he thinks, the way he looks at life, and most importantly who he wants to be. As Baum Squad president, Gerard holds responsibilities he can’t turn his back on, but when he’s with Kristen, all those responsibilities seem insignificant. She’s a woman like none other, smart, sophisticated, sexy, rich. She’s a woman he never envisioned himself with but is somehow lucky enough to have. Faced with an impossible choice, Gerard must come to terms with what he inevitably knows— he has to walk away. The question is, from whom? The club or Kristen?
Title: Snowfall
Author: M. Never
Genre(s): Contemporary, MC (Motorcycle Club)
Narrator(s): Pippa Jayne & Jeffrey Kafer
I've never really gone for MC romances. Not that I'm against them - it's just there's always been other things that have taken my fancy more.

This one features an older couple - him a biker and her more a lady that stays on the straight and narrow. I didn't ever feel we really got to know either character well enough for me to care overly much and it hasn't changed my mind about MC romances.

This is a prequel but it still stands alone as its own story. I understand that the other characters that appear in this book have their own story which kicks off the 'Slashes in the Snow' series.

And I just can't with that series title. Absolutely hilarious! How can anyone take that seriously? I'm assuming that, in America, 'slash' doesn't mean the same thing as it does over here in Blightly! 😂 (I'm a 12 year old boy, I admit!)

Oh and the narrators were especially well suited for the characters. Pippa Jayne's voice is sumptuous. That's the only way I can think to describe it. And Jeffrey Kafer's rumbly voice grumbled like the hum of a motorcycle. Grrrrr!

Outcome: Listened all week but it didn't really float my boat.
It started with a kiss, an innocent touch. It shouldn’t have led to anything more because of who we were, what we were to each other. But I loved him even if he was my step-brother. He was called a bad boy, dangerous, was rough and raw in every male way that counted. But I loved him still. And that one night, those taboo touches, the softly, filthy spoken words he whispered changed my life forever. He gave me his baby. And then he left, was sent away, never knowing the truth. Now two years later he’s back, claiming I’ve always been his. But will that still be the case once the truth comes out?

A pseudo-taboo book that has a small amount of angst, a secret baby, and a bad boy hero. The hero is brooding, possessive, but has only had eyes for the heroine. The heroine is sweet, small-town girl charm who is afraid of losing the hero all over again once he finds out about their child.
Title: Because of You
Author: Jenika Snow
Genre(s): Contemporary, Step-Brother, New Adult
Narrator(s): Lauren Sweet & Eric London
I do love a step-brother romance and I was looking forward to Jenika's offering on the podcast...only to feel a little let down.

It started off well but then kind of just fizzled away. Sutton going to jail for such a long time. No-one telling him about the baby. It just didn't work for me, sadly.

Lauren Sweet has a lovely voice and she seemed to be feeling the words rather than just reading them, which is definitely a good thing. Eric London's voice was suited to the role and he had a nice tone - if perhaps a little too clean cut for the Sutton I imagined.

Outcome: Slightly disappointed - perhaps again due to my high expectations. No action taken.

An unforgettable one-night stand filled with heat and passion starts the unraveling of a love-hate feud between a small-town baker and an arrogant cowboy.

When Katarina shows up at the Circle B Ranch Bed & Breakfast to serve her new gluten-free, sugar-free, organic pastries, Braxton decides to make her life hell for kicking him out the next morning and then pretending he never existed.

First step, make fun of her tasteless muffins.

Second step, get revenge.

Soon the duo are at each other’s throats, getting even until things go too far and the chemistry burns too hot.

Kat claims their night together meant nothing.

He’s determined to prove her wrong.
Title: Roping the Cowboy
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre(s): Contemporary, Cowboy, Second-Chance
Narrator(s): Savannah Peachwood & Aiden Snow
Braxton and Kat first appeared (as far as I'm aware) in Fox's Falling for the Cowboy - and they were at each other's throats even then.

I do so love a couple who have animosity towards each other, even if it's just because one of the pair is scared to open their heart to the other!

I really enjoyed this story except when the pranks started to ramp up. Putting anything in someone's food/drink is so unfunny that I cringed - especially when Kat (who'd done the putting) didn't even feel shame or remorse - or even come over and nurse poor Braxton better. It wasn't just unfunny for me - it was juvenile, dangerous and downright stupid.

It's now starting to get a bit fan-girly between me and Savannah Peachwood - especially since she rustles up a sexy twang for Kat's voice. And Aiden Snow? Hooboy! This man's voice is so low that it hums through your you-know-what. God, that man can talk. He's my new favourite boy voice!

Outcome: I still might be tempted to buy this story when it comes out - if nothing else in the hopes that the Foxes have listened to overwhelming feedback and done some tweaking on the pranks in the book.
Rules of surviving a breakup:

1. Do avoid your ex like he’s a bill collector

2. Do block his emails and change your phone number if necessary

3. Do bury your head in the sand while you try (and fail) to get over him

4. Don’t talk to him when he shows up while you’re in the middle of the blind date from hell 

5. Don’t agree to go home with him when says he needs to talk to you

Let’s hope I don’t come to regret breaking rules four and five within minutes of Mason Cleary swooping back into my life.
Title: Rated Ex
Author: Ella Fox
Genre(s): Contemporary, Second-Chance
Narrator(s): Samantha Cook
I do love a second chance romance and this had the bonus of a grumpy ex that didn't really realise he was an ex. Oh, and fabulous humour! And, strangely, a peacock which I think is related to another book by Ella. I think I should really go and check that out...

Samantha Cook had a perfectly clear and pleasing voice and I really liked her tone and nuances.

Outcome: Loved it, bought it and can't wait to read it again. (It came out a couple of days ago and I've already read through it twice since then! LOL!)
A chance meeting. An instant connection. Mitch and Mandy burn hot, but when the smoke clears, and things get real, can their feelings stay strong?

Title: An Instant Connection
Author: Melanie Moreland
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Alexandra Shawnee & Noel Harrison
This story was cute as a button and the week just flew by for me.

There's a little bit of subterfuge and sneakiness (obviously on the part of that darn man!) but it was easy for our couple to get past and get their happily ever after.

It was simple, sweet and just lovely. I very much enjoyed it.

Alexandra Shawnee has such a unique voice. Her voice sounds like that of a young woman yet with a wee bit of a little old woman with funky glasses on a chain, too. It's mesmerising to my ears.

I think Noel Harrison wears a suit to sleep in. And bathe in. He just has that sort of voice. In a great way. Strange that I honestly did find him believable as the coppery curled, playful and persistent Mitchell.

Outcome: Another pre-order for me.
Nicholas Ford, a successful club owner in his mid-thirties, decided a while back to deny his true nature in order to follow his family’s advice and settle down. The day before he is to attend his girlfriend’s sister’s wedding, he makes an appearance at his BDSM club and runs into Kayla, a bubbly Little Girl who captures his undivided attention.

Look but don’t touch, Nicholas tells himself.

What he doesn’t know is that Kayla’s in town to go to her cousin’s wedding…
Title: Look But Don't Touch (1)
Author: Cara Dee
Genre(s): Contemporary, DD/LG (Daddy Dom, Little Girl)
Narrator(s): Tor Thom
Hmmm - what to say about this book...

Well, it was alright, I suppose. I didn't much like the fact that Nicholas was still in a relationship while pursuing - passively or impassively - Kayla. That seemed a bit tacky.

When I'm new to a kink - as I am this one - I prefer one of the characters to also be new to it. I think it helps me 'learn' as the character learns. Kayla has been a Little before so I felt a little, well, disappointed.

It was nicely sexy - the scene in the hotel corridor especially but it didn't set me afire, sadly.

I'm convinced Tor Thom is a Viking who narrates romance novels for a living. He was the perfect voice for Nicholas.

Oh and it's the start of Nicholas and Kayla's story so while it rounded itself out by the end of the week, it's not the final and forever HEA with this one story.

Outcome: Huh. Didn't turn me on to the DDLG kink but didn't turn me off, either. No further action.

Piper has been crushing on Ryder for years. What better chance to make her move than when he’s sacrificing himself to the squealing masses at a charity auction? Too bad she’d rather chug nails than actually bid on a guy who doesn’t know she exists. Or so she thinks…

In a twist of fate, Piper wins Ryder at the auction, but she never collects.

Now he’s determined to find out why.
Title: Switch Bidder
Author: Sara Ney
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult
Narrator(s): Felicity Munroe & Jason Clarke

This was my first introduction to Sara Ney and I very much enjoyed the tale.

It's a great premise and it's done amazingly well. Personally, I thought Piper's best friend was hilarious. Bloody loved her. I feel that I should note that having read some other reviews, some people despised Piper's BFF - so she's definitely Marmite.

I loved the relationship between Piper and Ryder and liked it even better when they started to get it on...and then the stop. Oooft - talk about a tease. There will hopefully be a good ending when it comes out in ebook.

Outcome: Getting really antsy about if/when this is coming out in ebook. I've reached out to Sara Ney but she's yet to respond. Just let me buy this book, dammit! Edit: Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I've just noticed on Sara Ney's Instagram that Switch Bidder comes out 27th June!! Yes! Yes! Yeeeeeeees!

Once upon a sultry summer night, a princess and a pariah shared a forbidden kiss that neither would ever forget.

But, very quickly, Carter and Elizabeth learn that there are some rules, that even love won’t allow them to break.

Ten years later he’s back in town.

He’s no longer the outcast

She’s no longer the sweetheart.

And, this time, nothing will get between them and their forever.
Title: Between Us & Forever
Author: Dylan Allen
Genre(s): Contemporary, Second-Chance
Narrator(s): Tracy Marks & Aaron Shedlock

This was a sweet story about a young couple who were torn apart as teens. In the 10 years since she's stayed in town while Carter has gone off and set the world on fire as part of the hottest band around.

Their coming together again was cute and emotional - especially with Elizabeth's hangups about her looks - especially a tragic facial scar - since he's been away.

Outcome: Pre-ordered this book only to have the order cancelled. It turns out Ms Allen wants to give more time to some tweaks to this book and it will be back up for pre-order soon. I'll pre-order it again when it's available again.
The night before her million-dollar wedding to steel magnate Dorian Hawthorne III, Olivia Peretti meets a handsome stranger in her hotel bar who quells her cold feet and assures her all will be fine. And all is fine … until the following day—when that same stranger shows up at the ceremony with the sole intention of objecting. And his reason? It’s one that Olivia never could have anticipated.
Title: The Objection
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Amy McFadden & Brian Pallino

Winter Renshaw's offering to the podcast is an almost insta-love tale about an upstanding man (Gabriel) who feels compelled to do the right thing - even if it means objecting to the wedding of the girl he connected with the night before her wedding.

It was a fun tale and very engaging. I wanted it to continue and wanted to read more and more about this couple. And despite the short acquaintance - fear not - we still get our sexy shenanigans! Woop!

Amy McFadden has a GREAT voice. It's interesting, compelling and she has nuances for days. Brian's voice is equally as good. He's quite quiet but his voice is so deep and compelling it makes for a great combo.

Outcome: Pre-ordered this book and have my fingers tightly crossed for some bonus epilogue-age included.
Ever since Melanie’s mom married Kurt’s dad she’s had the hots for her gorgeous, off-limits stepbrother. Knowing Kurt feels the same way doesn’t help her lust, but through and unspoken agreement they ignore their forbidden feelings. Then Kurt drives her to a modelling shoot for an exercise book and winds up volunteering to model as her partner. What neither of them know is that the exercises in the book are all sexual–a modern Kama Sutra.

Melanie tries to ignore the sparks flying between her and Kurt, even when they have to get naked and pose for pictures that are both explicit and erotic. But how can she resist her sexy stepbrother? Will she and Kurt be able to keep from crossing the invisible line between them or will they give in to temptation in order to get every shot… Picture Perfect?
Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Evangeline Anderson
Genre(s): Contemporary, Step-Brother
Narrator(s): Jillian Macie

I didn't realise it until the end of this podcast when Tessa herself mentioned it, that I've actually read - and loved - Evangeline Anderson before. Her novel Kidnapped for Christmas is an erotic tale of a sexy kidnapping and a case of mistaken identity and it's soooo good.

And this tale is just as good. So, so good.

It's basically a massive tease right up until the last chapter/Friday episode and I loved it so hard. There's so much sexy angst and suppressed feelings - as well as the actual, sexual teasing. Mmmm hmmm hmmm.

Outcome: Bought this book and have read it again - and maybe again!
After the night of his wedding, a night in which his beloved was murdered Camron Campbell has chosen to spend hundreds of years alone never even imagining the idea of finding another.

Then Isabel Newport an American woman walks right into his life through the front door of his castle. Feelings long forgotten are brought back to life.

Camron tries to control the craving he has for Isabel, but after one stolen kiss he knows it would be impossible to deny their connection.

To have her, to hold her, to keep her is not going to be easy especially when vampires aren’t supposed to exist and humans aren’t allowed to be their mates.

But having spent hundreds of years without his beloved he will do everything to keep her at his side.
Title: Trapping Her
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Genre(s): Contemporary, Paranormal
Narrator(s): Tanya Eby & Richard Sawyer

Isabel is an American lass who finds herself in Scotland and meeting the handsome and enigmatic Camron. (Why is it spelt like that? Gah!) And in the first couple of chapters/days Ms Eby holds the story - and plays the role of Isabel and Camron. Complete with Scottish accent. And I use the word Scottish in the loosest possible way. I listened to this book while out on a walk and people were giving me strange looks as I alternated between hysterical laughter and a bunch of expletives. Man is it bad. Stab yourself in the ears bad.

I was about to give up on this book before Richard Sawyer came along. Richard Sawyer with his delicious and AUTHENTIC sounding Scottish accent. Thank fuck for that, ye ken.

The story was okay and while I knew that Camron and Isabel's connection was other-worldly, it did feel as though he was still pining after his lost love. I don't want to spoil the book by saying more, but it just felt slightly odd to me.

Outcome: Not really my bag so not going to buy. But I'm also not going to lie and say I'm not tempted to find out more about the King Vampire's story.

And if you want to learn Glaswegian (ONE of the accents of Scotland), watch this.
I didn’t know him the night I climbed into his chair and under his tattoo machine. I didn’t know him when he taught me about the kind of pleasure I’d only read about in kinky millionaire romances.

I didn’t know that when I walked into my college classroom the next morning the man who’d inked my skin and dirtied my body would be sitting in front of me.

Dean Shaw is my student. My secret. And my downfall if the truth about us comes out.

The problem is, he’s also everything I crave and can’t let go…
Title: Grading Curves
Author: Naima Simone
Genre(s): Contemporary, Older Woman Younger Man
Narrator(s): Lacy Laurel & Alex Kydd

The first thing about this story is that Lacy Laurel's voice is divine. Loved her. She brings you Nikki and lets you get to know her from the very first.

She's an older woman, past the prime of her life and a little sad and needing a fresh start - all according to our heroine herself.

Dean has gone through his own shit with his life. He's older than his 24 years and he can't help but be attracted to the curvy, hot 30 year old...



30 years old?




The way we're introduced to Nikki we're led to believe she's a fat, frumpy older lady. I can only assume that Naima Simone is in her early 20s if she's got such a warped view of what's old and what's not. I actually thought I'd misheard and it's so ridiculous that I wanted to throw my iphone out the window.

I don't even like older woman / younger man stories and I didn't think 6 years was a huge deal. I'm not even sure how a 30 year old could be a professor at a college but that's another issue.

Despite the annoyance of age-shaming (seriously, girl - how do you think older lasses will feel about this?) I actually got into this story and enjoyed it. I liked Dean's acceptance of Nikki and his support of her. I also liked his voice. It all worked out well and then she deep throated him on her living room floor. Boke. Literally.

And 'Woody' as a nickname for a girl? Lol! (Hey, it's the 12 year old boy again!)

Outcome: I was keen until the gagging - so not going to buy.
It started with a kiss. A single kiss that shook me to my core. A kiss to silence me, and a kiss to numb the pain.

I took his hand and in turn, he took me away. I thought when we ran away, we’d never have to look back.

I was wrong.

I think Sebastian knew, and so did I, that he’d be pulled back into this life one day. There was no way we could have gotten our happily ever after.  Scars don’t ever fully go away, and this sinful place is etched into our flesh.

I don’t know how I’ll ever forgive him for bringing me back here. Even when he kisses me the way he does… no kiss can take away this pain.

He’s still my everything, but I don’t know how we’ll survive this.
Title: A Kiss to Keep
Author: Willow Winters
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult
Narrator(s): CJ Bloom & Alexander Cendese

I'm never keen on books that have a blurb like this one does. Overly dramatic statements that seem to tell of a story that, at its core, has absolutely zero plot.

The first day was the lassie's turn to tell the story. (I care so little that I'm not even going to go back and find out what her name was.) Nothing happened apart from her being mad at her boyfriend for him taking her back to her hometown due to some melodramatic ridiculousness that we never actually get to the bottom of.

The second day was Sebastian...and I was out before Tuesday's episode finished. Bless his cotton socks, Alexander Cendese's voice was adorable. He was like an over eager puppy dog (Labrador is what popped into my mind) or cool frat boy. When he started to talk about being part of the mafia or running from the mafia (or some such bullshit) since he was 16 - and effing and blinding about fucking people up...I just couldn't. It was so unbelievable that I tapped out.

Outcome: DNF. Listened until about 1/3 of Tuesday. Not for me.
I have two weeks to convince Jack to give me a second chance. Two weeks working in his bar and sleeping in his bed to prove that I’m sorry. And he can be as cruel as he wants, trying to get me out the door, but I won’t leave him. Not again.

But forgiveness is tricky…and Jack’s may cost me more than I have to give.
Title: One Last Chance
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre(s): Contemporary, Second Chance
Narrator(s): Tieran Wilder & Lee Samuels

Oh. This. Book.

I love a second chance romance - especially when our couple are already married. Oh the feels.

Natalie is back in Jack's life and he's a right grumpy sob about it. He doesn't forgive her yet we still get some sexy times between our couple - even if they had more sex than emotion to begin with.

By the end of this book I was in love. With Jack. With Natalie. With Molly. And with this story. I'm not ashamed to admit I had some tears in my eyes and heard myself do a dramatic sigh at the ending. Lovely stuff.

Outcome: Gah - loved it. Pre-ordered so hard.

Former presidential aide Ryan Belvedere has been drifting in a fog of misery ever since his president was killed, but he reluctantly agrees to do a favor for a friend—fetching a rare book from a crumbling manor house in England.  There he meets Sidney Blount—cold, sophisticated, Dominant—who’s at the same house to appraise the family art.  It doesn’t take Sidney long to appraise Ryan too, and decide exactly what Ryan needs.  Which just so happens to be the one thing Sidney wants to give…
Title: American Squire
Author: Sierra Simone
Genre(s): Contemporary, MM (Male/Male), BDSM
Narrator(s): Guy Locke

This book was always going to be a hard sell for me as I'm not a fan of MM. However, I decided to give it a listen and see if it could change my mind.

It did not change my mind.

As well as being MM, this is BDSM. Well, at least Ryan talks and thinks about the sub/dom lifestyle. When he's not thinking about Ash (the now deceased president of the US and possibly his lover/dom/king/boss etc etc) or books. Or Merlin. (The wizard? What the actual? *Rolls eyes*) This bored me to tears, tbh. Just bloody get on with it! Maybe there was BDSM later in the week. Maybe it continued to be all talk and no spanking.

And don't get me started on Sidney Blount. His name rhymes with the word that would describe him best. Not that we really got to know him. By Wednesday at least. Halfway through Wednesday I had an epiphany about my life and decided it was too short to listen to books I'm not enjoying - especially when I hadn't even heard a kiss (or any actual contact between our main characters). That was when I switched back to the Murder Squad podcast.

And that cover! *Shudders*

Let's end on a positive, though. Guy's voice was nice and he changed up the accents well.

Outcome: DNF on Wednesday.

Return to the world of Blackwood Keep for an exclusive bonus ending of The Peer and the Puppet!

Four Archer was the toughest girl around. Just ask anyone. She’s the street racing daredevil who brought the King of Brynwood Academy to his knees. But watching her boyfriend fawn over his childhood playmate—even though it was just an act—would be her toughest challenge yet.

When jealousy rears its ugly head, Four questions if she can handle playing the sideline.

Ever McNamara has the world at his fingertips, but not even a private jet and a seven-figure trust fund can get him out of this rock and a hard place.

When a childhood pact puts their fairytale in peril, Ever must risk it all to keep her.
Title: Evermore
Author: B.B. Reid
Genre(s): Young Adult
Narrator(s): Joe Arden & Savannah Peachwood

This is a bonus novella that follows the events that have taken place in B.B. Reid's The Peer and the Puppet and The Moth and the Flame. On the Amazon page for this book it strongly advises you to have read those two books before reading/listening to this one. So why the everloving fuck is it on this podcast? Grrrrrr.

Having such strong feelings about this book didn't stop me from listening to it. And being utterly confused. I finally figured out the characters (I think!), but what on earth was going on? Who was related to whom? Why was our 'hero' pretending to be with another girl? Why did the two main characters appear to have such a horrific past with each other? I still don't know the answers to those, and many other questions.

And yet I kept listening.

Savannah Peachwood is excellent as always with her little twang of accent (although what was Jameson's accent supposed to be?). And Joe Arden was excellent as Ever.

And still I'm listening.

A bit juvenile for my tastes but it obviously had something since here I am, at the end of the week and I've finished the whole story! Still no idea what was going on and still don't think this belongs on the podcast - but hey, you win some...

Outcome: Nowt done.

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