Monthly Wrap Up

Wrap Up: January 2018

January was a good month for me. I read a total of twelve books all of which I absolutely loved! This is really rare for me. My personal favorites for this month were By the Hour, Mikhail, Hostage, and Stumbling into Love. Below are the books I read this moth with a few snip-its of what I thought about them.

Title: The Rancher’s Baby
Author: Maisey Yates
Series: Texas Cattleman’s Club: The Impostor (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Desire
Genres: Contemporary, Western
Tropes: virgin heroine, friends to lovers
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

When a torrid, possibly dangerous scandal comes to Royal, Texas, Selena Jacobs is nearly caught in the middle. Until her best friend Knox McCoy ensures her safety—by moving in! Selena has loved Knox for years, but she’s never had the courage to tell him. Now the sparks she’s tried to smother burn out of control…and leave her pregnant. But with the pain in his past, will Knox finally take a chance on love…with her?

The Rancher’s Baby may seem like a typical Harlequin read–quick and easy, but it is layered with somewhat dark undertones dealing with death and parental abuse.

Title: Off the Clock
Author: Roni Loren
Series: Pleasure Principle #1 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: January 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Tropes: virgin heroine, office romance, bdsm
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Overtime has never felt so good…

Marin Rush loves studying sex. Doing it? That’s another story. In the research lab, Marin’s lack of practical knowledge didn’t matter, but now that she’s landed a job at The Grove, a high-end, experimental sex therapy institute, she can’t ignore the fact that the person most in need of sexual healing may be her.

Dr. Donovan West, her new hotshot colleague, couldn’t agree more. Donovan knows that Marin’s clients are going to eat her alive unless she gets some hands-on experience. And if she fails at the job, he can say goodbye to a promotion, so he assigns her a list of R-rated tasks to prepare her for the wild clientele of The Grove’s X-wing.

But some of those tasks are built for two, and when he finds Marin searching for a candidate to help her check off her list, Donovan decides there’s only one man for the job–him. As long as they keep their erotic, off-the-clock activities strictly confidential and without strings, no one will get fired–or worse, get attached…

Every once in a while you get a read that keeps you flipping through he pages without thought to the time. Off the Clock was the read for me. The writing was sensual and the romance hot. If you’re not into BDSM, I still think you should and can read this. It focuses mainly on dominant and submissive relationship set around an office setting.

Title: By the Hour
Author: Roni Loren
Series: Pleasure Principle #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Tropes: office romance, older woman younger man, bdsm
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Dr. Elle McCray has a plan. Work hard. Be the best. And do it alone. After her ex-husband’s betrayal, she’s learned being feared is a hell of a lot easier than being humiliated. So when trouble personified, Lane Cannon, dares to flirt with her, she shuts him down cold. Too gorgeous. Too cocky. And his job as The Grove’s sexual surrogate is to sleep with patients. No, thank you.

Former escort Lane Cannon has spent enough years with people looking down on him. Stupid. Trailer trash. Rent boy. He’s heard it all. He’s worked too hard to shed his past to let some haughty doctor cut him down. But something about Elle’s ice queen act has his dominant instincts perking up and his body taking notice. He can’t walk away.

After an evening of verbal sparring turns into a night of steamy hate sex, Lane’s ready for round two. But Elle proposes a business deal. How better to keep things strictly physical than to pay him for his services?

Lane wants her, not her money. But he’ll play along in exchange for one thing—all the control. It’s only supposed to be a dirty little fling between colleagues, but these two are about to learn a lesson in love…by the hour.

This has got to be my favorite Roni Loren book and that truly made me a fan of her work. The characters were wonderful–especially the heroine Elle who at first came across as the mean other woman in the first book, but she is so much more than that. I have a girl crush on her. The hero Lane is a perfect match for Elle as he knows how push in all the right ways and doesn’t take her bullshit.

TitleStumbling into Love
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Series: Fluke My Life #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: January 30th 2018 by Montlake Romance
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, Western
Tropes: pregnancy, alpha male, insta-lust
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Mackenzie Reed has officially been stood up. Not only has she wasted two years on Mr. So Not Interested but now she doesn’t even have pizza and the Mets to keep her company. Then he walks into her life—more than six feet of rugged, hot stranger. Maybe, just for tonight, Mac can pretend to be a girl she’s not. After all, she deserves a little no-strings fun…

As far as Wesley Porter is concerned, one night with Mackenzie isn’t nearly enough. She’s a mystery he wants to solve—if he can keep her from running for the door every time they touch. There’s obviously some serious chemistry between them, so why is she fighting it?

As one sexy hookup turns into another (and another), Wesley is determined to prove they were made for each other. But Mac has been hurt before, and she refuses to fall for this sexy, ridiculously perfect guy. In fact, she has every intention of fighting it…unless he can convince her otherwise.

If you are looking for an possessive Alpha male, look no further! Aurora Rose Reynolds does not disappoint in this second installment. This definitely had the old ARR vibes of over the top heroes which I love. I can’t wait for the third book!

Title: The Christmas Cowboy Hero
Author: Donna Grant
Series:  Heart of Texas #1 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: October 31st 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Genres: Suspense, Contemporary, Western
Tropes: holiday, military
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

This was my first Donna Grant book and I loved it!  I’m all for a good hunky cowboy romance. There was a good mix of romance and suspense that kept me turning the pages. I’m definitely going to be picking up another book of hers soon.

Author: Julie Garwood
Series:  Buchanan-Renard #11 can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: August 6th 2013 by Berkley
Genres: Suspense, Contemporary,
Tropes: virgin heroine, law enforcement
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishop’s Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit—only then will they own it.

A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.

There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton’s contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn’t inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.

It’s soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her—until she’s nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.

I enjoyed reading Hotshot, but it was a very long read. The suspense plot dragged on quite a bit and I felt the romance was rushed. It was still a good book and enjoyable. I don’t regret reading this.

Title: The Highwayman
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels #1 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: September 1st 2015 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genres: Historical
Tropes: virgin heroine, virgin hero, second chances
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…

But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?

The Highwayman has been on by TBR for the longest time! I’ve actually been reading this series out of order and so far this is my favorite out of the series. It’s a very emotional and heartwarming read that deserves all the praises it receives. All historical romance fans should read this book!

Author: Lauren Smith
Series: Brothers of Ash and Fire #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: January 10th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal
Tropes: virgin heroine, older man younger woman
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

A dragon never leaves his hoard unguarded. His heart is another matter. 

The second eldest in an ancient line of Russian dragon shifters, Mikhail Barinov had one job: protect one of the family hoard of jewels. Distracted by the English virgin queen Elizabeth, who was as dazzling as she was devious; he lost everything. Five centuries of exile later, news that a construction crew has unearthed a massive trove of gold and jewels sends him racing to London, determined to steal back his family’s treasure… and his honor.

Professional gemologist Piper Linwood can’t wait to bury herself in her newest project, evaluating a hoard of Elizabethan-era treasure. But both her life and career are threatened when a mysterious, brooding man with a dangerous smile — and an even more dangerous kiss — snatches the lot.

Unwillingly swept along for the ride, Piper discovers Mikhail is no mere thief. And the dragon on his back is more than a tattoo. It’s a living, breathing extension of a bad boy she’s finding harder and harder to resist. But his heart is a treasure she can never own… because to save her career, she’ll have to betray his trust.

Lauren Smith does it again! Mikhail is the next installment in her new paranormal romance series that I cannot get enough of. It leans a lot more towards sexy romance which I love. There are a lot of paranormal series that are long and very complex that I cannot get into, but I am loving this series as the stories are sort of standalones and I can enjoy them and still get the paranormal aspect without being overwhelmed.

TitleBecoming Mrs. Lockwood
Author: K.I. Lynn
Series: Standalone
Publish date: January 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Tropes: virgin heroine, older man younger woman, forbidden, insta-love
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Every girl has dreams of meeting Prince Charming, or at least I know I did.

A fairy tale-like meeting of love at first sight.
Real life and fairy tales are very different.

I’m just a small town Indiana girl that had a chance encounter with one of Hollywood’s golden boys. You may think you know where this story goes—not even close.

Life is different. Marriage is hard. It’s even worse when you’re strangers.

This is the first book by this author and I loved it! I’m all for older man and younger woman romances plus alpha males. This was a light-hearted romance full of insta-love and toe curling taboo romance all quite unbelievable but a great read if you like the tropes.

Title: Disciplining the Duchess
Author: Annabel Joseph
Series:  Standalone
Publish date: February 26th 2013 by Scarlet Rose Press
Genres: Historical, Erotica
Tropes: virgin heroine, spanking
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Over five seasons, Miss Harmony Barrett has managed to repel every gentleman of consequence and engineer a debacle at Almacks so horrifying that her waltzing privileges are revoked. If shes not in the library reading about Mongol hordes, shes embarrassing her family or getting involved in impulsive scrapes.

Enter the Duke of Courtland, a man known for his love of duty and decorum. Through a vexing series of events, he finds himself shackled to Miss Barrett in matrimony.

But all is not lost. The duke harbors a not-so-secret affinity for spanking and discipline and his new wife is ever in need of it. Will the mismatched couple find their way to marital happiness? Or will the duke be forever Disciplining the Duchess?

I just can’t get enough of Annabel Jospeh! She has a wonderful writing style that just flows especially in her erotic historical romances. If you’re looking for some historical romances with more naughtiness to them plus spanking fetishes, I’d recommend her books.

TitleRock Me
Author: Cherrie Lynn
Series:  Ross Siblings #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: May 4th 2010 by Samhain Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Tropes: virgin heroine
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads

Loving him couldn’t be worse than losing him. Could it?

Candace Andrews has had enough of pleasing others. In an act of birthday rebellion, she sets out to please herself—by walking into the tattoo parlor owned by her cousin’s ex-boyfriend. All she wants is a little ink, and Brian’s just the guy to give it to her.

As soon as she submits to his masterful hands, though, the forbidden attraction she’s always felt for him resurfaces…and she realizes the devilishly sexy artist could give her so much more.

Sweet, innocent Candace is the last person Brian expected to see again. She’s everything he’s not, and her family despises him. He doesn’t need the hassle, but he needs her, and this time no one is taking her away. Not even those who threaten to make his life a living hell.

Backed into a corner, Candace faces the worst kind of choice. Cave in to those who think Brian is a living nightmare…or hold her ground and risk it all for the one man who rocks her world.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, naughty language, tattoos aplenty, family drama, a hot rock concert…and a bad boy hero who’s pierced in all the right places.

You want a bad boy and good girl forbidden romance? Rock me will satisfy that urge. It’s a nice contemporary romance, easy to read that is a good in between read from those long and heavy books.

Author: Annika Martin & Skye Warren
Series:  Criminals & Captives #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Publish date: January 27th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Dark, Suspense
Tropes: virgin heroine, older man younger woman
Buy: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads


I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

I LOVE this book! I skipped school to read this the morning it was released and I have no regrets. This is a slow-burn dark romance. Don’t expect sexy stuff right away. It isn’t violent with a lot gore, but a safe, dark romance with a happy ending. I hope these two will continue to write more together.


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