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Category Archives: Carina Press

Undeniably Yours – Shannon Stacey

Undeniably Yours
By Shannon Stacey
Kowalski Family – Book 2
Available Now

Description:
One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…

This Blonde’s Review:
Kevin has plenty of opportunities to be a playboy as the beyond attractive owner of a successful bar. When he’s given a second chance with Beth he takes it, wanting more than one night with her. When she slips away after a night together he is very hopeful he’ll see again. What he doesn’t expect is that he’ll see her when she finds herself pregnant.

Beth doesn’t want to be another in a string of women for the gorgeous Kevin. When she finds out their night resulted in pregnancy she doesn’t want to be the woman he’s with because he has to be. She is determined to do it on her own, or as close to on her own as she can manage.

When Beth’s stubborn determination to go it alone and Kevin’s desire to build a family collide, they do their best to make things work for them. Kevin was the best part of this story, his patience and his dedication made him a dream guy. Beth drove me a little crazy by refusing to see what was right in front of her and what the people who knew Kevin best tried to tell her.

I enjoyed watching the strong woman Beth wants to be do what she can to stay true to what she feels she needs to do while still attempting to let this man she could too easily love in to her life. She may have driven a few readers a little crazy for not appreciate what Kevin is offering her, but I can appreciate her desire not to be the woman who depends on him. I can also respect her desire to remain true to herself without being swept away by Kevin’s enthusiasm and large personality.

Shannon Stacey does a fantastic job of making the side characters matter to us as well. This was the first book I had read by this author and I already want to go find the 1st Kowalski Family book so I can see what happened there and find out what comes next for this great family. Paulie and Sam are two great characters whose story we are able to see happening alongside Kevin and Beth’s. I loved them and would have enjoyed reading a book dedicated to their story alone, but I am glad we were able to read about them and I think their romance and their issues worked well within this story without taking away from Kevin and Beth.

If you enjoy a baby comes first story with a family oriented daddy and a hesitant mommy then you’ll want to pick up Kevin and Beth’s story soon.

 

The Kiss Test – Shannon McKeldon

The Kiss Test
By Shannon McKeldon
Available Now

Description:

Margo Gentry’s life is perfect. She loves her job as a DJ for Manhattan’s only country music station, and she has a great boyfriend who accepts her need to avoid marriage and tolerates her Elvis obsession-even the velvet Elvis painting in their bedroom.

But then it all falls apart. The radio station changes formats and fires all the DJs. Margo’s boyfriend decides he wants kids and a house in the suburbs and kicks her to the curb. And to top it all off, her Mom is getting married-for the 11th time! -and expects Margo to be there as maid of honor.

With no job and no place to live, Margo has to bunk on the couch of her best friend, Chris, whose revolving bedroom door has played host to half the women in New York-at least, the ones who pass his “kiss test.” Worse, he’s insisting she attend her mother’s wedding, and he’s personally driving her cross-country to ensure she shows up.

Forget about surviving the road trip-can their friendship survive The Kiss Test?

This Blonde’s Review:
Margo and Chris have been friends forever. She has decided she will never get married, after seeing how many times her mother has been married. Chris is a playboy who gives the kiss test to almost every woman he meets.

When Margo’s boyfriend insists on marriage and she runs, she finds herself without a place to stay. To top things off, she loses her job thanks to the sale of the radio station she works at.

Margo decides that is the perfect time to go on an Elvis vacation. Until she goes to crash on Chris’s couch and finds herself falling down the stairs. She is unable to drive and finds herself in need of a driver. Chris agrees to drive for her if she also goes to her mother’s wedding. The wedding Margo was determined to avoid.

Their road trip was a disaster including Margo’s lack of equilibrium, mosquitoes, being trapped naked in a bathroom, drunken tattoos, an incident at Graceland…. It was not exactly the trip Margo had planned or Chris signed up for.

Until one night when Chris gives Margo his Kiss Test and it changes everything.

I loved Margo. She is a little too obsessed with Elvis, but she is sure of herself and won’t allow a guy’s opinion to influence her. I didn’t understand how Chris could do some of the things he did (see the night of being trapped naked in the bathroom).

If this book sounds interesting you should definitely read it. I really enjoyed it much more than I expected.

 

Debutante’s Dilemma – Elyse Mady

Debutante’s Delimma
By Elyse Mady
Available Now

Description:
One woman in search of passion
Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season…in duplicate! She’s caught the eye of not one but two of England’s most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecelia doesn’t want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.

Two men in love with the same woman
Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, falling for the same woman has set Jeremy and Richard at odds, and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms…

This Blonde’s Review:
Cecilia has done what every other girl has wanted. She has managed to catch an Earl and a Duke. Jeremy and Richard have been friends forever and have attempted to not let their love ruin their friendship, yet they know when she makes her choice it will change things between them. Since Jeremy and Richard are both honorable men they have been wooing Cecilia the honorable way, but that isn’t what she wants. Cecilia wants passion. So she challenges them each to a kiss to see which man she has passion with.

In a way that requires the author to suspend belief the virginial Cecilia is soon in the middle of a threesome with both men showing their passion for her. Rather than be intimidated or afraid of something so unconventional she is quick to embrace it and enjoy everything that being with two men can give to her.

Once they realize that they can love and have passion within the three, they still have the dilemma of which man to marry. The author wraps this up in a way that is very unlikely but still leaves room for a potential happy ending if we can ignore the obvious difficulties that would come about, especially in that era. I would have had an easier time with the way this story was put together if one man had a title and the other didn’t, but with two titled men clearly they would both need heirs and couldn’t share her forever.

It was an interesting story and perhaps could have been made better if it had been longer. It was enjoyable but my opinion was rather lukewarm. I don’t regret reading it but I doubt I’d be eager to read it a second time.

If you think the description sounds like something that would appeal to you then be sure to get a copy of the Debutante’s Dilemma, you may find it to be something you want to keep handy to read more than once.

 

Overdue for Pleasure – Shelley Aikens

Overdue for Pleasure
By Shelley Aikens
Available Now

Description:
Mandy is content with her job as a librarian, her longtime boyfriend, Martin, and the lovely home they share. So what if their sex life is vanilla? She’s not the wild type anyway.

But when she wakes up one morning unsatisfied from an erotic dream starring her favorite movie star, Mandy starts to crave sexual adventure in real life. Too bad Martin won’t oblige, because it’s not Tuesday or Friday. Then Mandy finds out what Martin’s been doing the other days of the week or rather, who. And suddenly she needs to prove to herself that she’s not boring in bed.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of smoking-hot men willing to help her on her sensual quest: a nameless library patron who could be Brad Pitt’s twin, a coworker she suddenly sees in a different light, and the neighbor who usually rubs her the wrong way wants to show her he can rub her the oh-so-right way, too! Lucky for Mandy, her lovers are more than willing to share.

This Blonde’s Review:
Mandy is the imagine of the nice girl librarian who settles for what her vanilla boyfriend is willing to give. Until she starts to have erotic dreams that leave her unsatisfied. When she finds out that the vanilla in her boyfriend’s sex life is being saved for her while he spends other days with another woman Mandy is done.  Losing the vanilla in her life leads to Mandy letting her sexual desires free. The title for this one is very fitting since Mandy is definitely a woman who has been overdue for pleasure.

Mandy awakens sexually and starts to experiment much faster than you’d expect from a woman who has led such a vanilla lifestyle for so long. After having so many erotic dreams about Brad Pitt it makes sense that she’d be quicker to succumb to a lookalike who wants to give her no strings pleasure.

I don’t want to give away all of what she does, because it’s hotter to read about it as it happens, but there are many common fantasies thrown into this one story. There are plenty of times when Mandy is uncertain and seems to go along with what the men want, which can be a turn off for some women. I believe that in Mandy’s case the man making the decisions and deciding he wants her was part of the turn on for her and a woman who is interested in dominant males would find the way Mandy does things more erotic than one who prefers equal or dominate footing herself.

Even though many of the fantasy scenarios Mandy finds herself in happen quickly or right after each other I think that Shelley Aikens did a fantastic job of making the book flow and still be erotic instead of too busy. This book is erotic with a little romance instead of romantic erotica. Shelley Aikens is an author I’ll look for if I’m in the mood for something hot in the future.

If you enjoy erotic stories full of dominant men leading a woman through her every fantasy then you’ll love this one.

 

Miss Foster’s Folly – Alice Gaines

Miss Foster’s Folly
By Alice Gaines
Available Now

Description:

Manhattan, 1886

Juliet Foster has just become the wealthiest spinster in town. Her domineering and thoroughly unpleasant father has died and left her millions. She’s free to be her own woman and seek a life of adventure.

David Winslow, Marquess of Derrington, is in search of a wife who can break the Winslow Curse. Every second-generation heir inherits a restless, defiant nature that can only be tamed by a mate as independent and rebellious as himself.

Miss Juliet Foster is perfect—and eager for seduction. But when he wants more than a few nights of passion, Juliet runs like the devil’s on her heels. Can the marquess convince her that marriage isn’t a trap, but the greatest freedom of all?

This Blonde’s Review:
I admit that by the time I read this I hadn’t remembered much about the description. I actually Prefer that, since then I won’t be impatient for the things described on the back to happen. I trust that if I liked the description I don’t need to reread it. The problem I ran into was how this book started. It starts in a lawyer’s office and the attitude that Juliet (Miss Foster) has does not make a favorable of a first impression. I started it once or twice and stopped before I reread the description and decided to forge ahead. I’m so glad I did. I loved Juliet once we were able to see her spirit and her determination. I enjoyed Derrington’s character as well, since we know why he has chosen Juliet even if she does not. It was refreshing to see the male lead decide on the female and go after him rather than the woman wanting the man first. Juliet’s plans were amusing and wonderful, as was Derrington’s reaction to it.

This was a much better than I expected it to be and I really enjoyed it. If the description sounds interesting to you go over to the Carina Press website and get your copy. Juliet and Derrington are characters worth reading about.

 
 

Coming Clean – Inez Kelley

Coming Clean
By Inez Kelley
Available Now

Description:
Coming clean never felt so good…. 

Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment—and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant’s old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.

All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other…and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets…and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

This Blonde’s Review:
The description of Coming Clean mentions using the trip to the lake as the time to explore, except they never make it to the lake. This book takes place over the course of a day. They meet to get ready to go to the lake and have their back stories and feelings explained. They make their move in the comfort of home. The first encounter isn’t really anything that I was interested in, but it was still well written. Later when all three of them get together was pretty hot. This book is about one night and their feelings. They build up, hey have sex (hot sex) and then they deal with the emotional fallout for one of them. I have to say, in some ways it just felt too full of Feelings and Doubts compared to what I expected. As for whether there is room in their bed and their marriage, we only have the immediate aftermath of one night to go on.

This book does have some really hot scenes that are worth reading, but expect to have to wade through the doubts and details to get to them.

 

The Sweetest Deal – Mary Campisi

The Sweetest Deal
By Mary Campisi
Available Now

Description:

An impossible demand…

Max Jernigan is ready to close the most important business deal of his life—all he has to do is agree to one request from Grayson Crowell: impregnate the mogul’s daughter.

No way can Max do this. He’s a decent guy. But he would love a child. He just doesn’t want a wife.

An impossible man…

C.C. Crowell gave up on dreams of a family after Mr. Worse-Than-Wrong broke her heart. Hiding behind spreadsheets, boring suits and an icy attitude, she’s more than a little suspicious when arrogant, handsome Max is suddenly chasing her. But she can’t deny their chemistry. Until she learns about the deal and plans to pay Max back in kind….

This Blonde’s Review:
Max has a goal. Being told his goals can not be achieved without impregnating a woman he has never met does not sit well with him. As Max tries to decide what to do he meets a woman. She’s beautiful and has a love of Cookies and he wants to see her again. Little does Max know, the Catherine he met is also Grayson’s daughter C.C. The one he is required to impregnate if he wishes to make his dream come true.

Catherine has been hurt before, so she refuses to consider Max due to his career choice. He barely passed her cookie test. He’s the only one ot ever pass her test, so he has intrigued her whether she wants him to or not. Then her father puts him in charge of a project she thought she would lead, so she has this additional resentment. Luckily for Max, there are sparks flying between the two. When they do end up together, as we all know they do, Max has to decide if he’ll tell Catherine about the deal and when. Catherine yearns for a child, but is she willing to accept Grayson’s maneuvering in her life?

I enjoyed seeing Max and Catherine try to figure out what their feelings were and how they wanted to handle them. If you enjoy reading about two good people coming together with a few crazy complications to work out, then you’ll enjoy this story. They are assisted through everything by their loyal best friends Rhyder and Roxie, whose story I hope to be able to read soon!