unwrapped

Holiday Romances Across the Genre

‘Tis the season for some fun holiday reading. I scoured the new release shelves for some ideas to get you in the yuletide spirit. I tried to find a little from all of the genres, contemporary, paranormal, chick lit and erotica – it’s a tough job sourcing out these gems for you, but I’m glad I took the challenge!
play me

PLAY ME series by Tracy Wolff

"This series is actually a group of serial novellas (an e-serial) that I can promise you right now, will melt your panties. There’s a reason why the titles are words like, Wild, Hot, Hard, Real and Right. Let me break this down for you without giving too much away. (And all novellas are available now.)"
theKing

THE KING (The Original Sinners #6) by Tiffany Reisz

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan's kink kingdom. Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret.
minetotake

MINE TO TAKE (Nine Circles #1) Jackie Ashenden

First in a brand new series by Jackie Ashenden featuring the members of the Nine Circles Club—friends bound together by power, secrets, need…and the love they will find and stop at nothing to keep.
thduke

THE DUKE’S GUIDE TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR By Megan Frampton

The Duke’s Guide to Correct Behavior is a light hearted romp through 1840s London, with all of its class wars, whispered gossip, cravat wearing, observatory building, governess having grandeur. I’m a big fan of funny, especially rapier-like wit from a heroine who is worth more than her weight in gold. Lily Russell is a force to be reckoned with and the rakish Duke of Rutherford, Marcus, doesn’t quiet know what’s hit him…but he certainly wants to figure her out and he plans on taking more than two minutes to do it.
pushngthelimit

PUSHING THE LIMIT (Alpha Ops #3) By Emmy Curtis

I love a well researched, smart book. Emmy Curtis clearly has her research well in hand for this series. She takes us on military missions filled with so much detail, you can almost feel the sandy grit in your eyes as you read. The third book in her Alpha Ops series hits all of the high notes you need for an engaging military themed romantic suspense.
Forbidden Ground

FORBIDDEN GROUND by Karen Harper

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Gabe McCord has always blamed himself for what happened to Tess. Now he’s the county sheriff and hopes to shed new light on the cold case, especially given his growing feeling for Tess. Tess isn’t ready to recall what happened to her, but when another child in the town goes missing, she’s certain it’s related to her abduction. Together, Tess and Gabe work to unlock their painful memories to save a child and heal their damaged souls.
scandal

SCANDAL, Season 4, Episode 6

This week’s episode, “Baby Made a Mess,” opens with Olivia (Kerry Washington) tucked into bed, wearing her signature white silk robe and sipping her equally signature glass of red wine. Her cell phone dings—Fitz’s signature ringtone.
Alanna

ALANNA (When Hearts Dare #2) By Kathleen Bittner Roth

Alanna takes you on a sometimes painful journey of self discovery, mystery, deceit, love and redemption. Roth’s attention to detail will pull you in immediately. The chemistry between Alanna and Wolf is undeniable.
TheTaker

Lucky 13: Paranormals for Halloween

It’s that time of year: crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice everything, bonfires and spooky stories. For an autumn lover like myself, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Growing up, I used to watch all sorts of horror movies, movies that made me run across my bedroom floor and jump onto my bed after turning off the light because my overactive imagination gave me too many ideas of what could be hiding under my bed, just waiting for the right time to reach out and grab my ankle! I still love a good scary movie, I even love a campy, bad scary movie but now I’ve added paranormal books to my repertoire and I’d love to share some sexy, spooky reading ideas with you — just in time for Halloween. Some of these are… Continue
scandal1

SCANDAL Season 4, Episode 5

This week’s episode, “An Innocent Man,” opens with Olivia (Kerry Washington) swimming laps in her now familiar white one-piece in her equally familiar indoor pool, a sexy montage of memories of lovemaking with Jake (Scott Foley) and then Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and then Jake again firing off in her head. Her father, Rowan Pope AKA Command (Joe Morton) stands poolside, bringing her “torn between two lovers” reverie to an abrupt end. Olivia awakens from the dream, screaming. Reality is far worse than any love triangle. Jake is still in custody in the bowels of The Pentagon, being interrogated for orchestrating the killing of Jerry, the President’s teenage son. (In reality, Rowan ordered the hit and then framed Jake). Former gladiator and restored BFF, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) has spent the night at Olivia’s, and she rushes… Continue
scandal

SCANDAL, Season 4, Episode 3

Just when I thought Scandal couldn’t possibly get anymore twisty, I watched last night’s episode and well… W-O-W! The episode opens with newcomer cast member, RNC chairperson, Lizzie Bear (Portia de Rossi) doing kid drop off duty at school—and rendezvousing with the head of a prominent gun lobbying group. (Can we say multi-tasking!) Also dropping off his kids, he’s none too happy about their Republican president’s sudden championing of gun control legislation. “Does your gun lobbyist badge ever come off?” she asks with a mocking smile. He assures her that these days he sleeps with it on. In a legal countermove, the pro-gun faction has engineered an appeal of the new legislation in the mostly conservative Fourth Circuit Court. Still, the outcome is less than certain. Judge Sparks, who in the past has waffled between… Continue
overtheline

OVER THE LINE (Alpha Ops #1) by Emmy Curtis

We first met James and Beth in the novella that kicked this Alpha Ops series off, Dangerous Territory. They are in the field, in the throes of war and James saves Beth’s life after she’s shot in the leg during an ambush. James has admired and secretly lusted after Beth while under her command but when her life is put in danger, all of the feelings he’s kept a lid on bubble to the surface in an adrenaline based tsunami of protective need and want. Ever the professional, James saves the day and gets Beth on a transport that whisks her away for medical treatment. Time passes, tours end, wounds heal but the feelings James has for Beth never fade. When he sees her stateside months later, James knows Beth is the one for… Continue
Witches-of-East-End_Feat

WITCHES OF EAST END, Season Finale

This action-packed episode kicks right off with Killian drinking the poison potion Eva’s people gave him to help him get back to Freya. This potion has to kill him, and mourning Killian has no idea Freya is still alive. This is a powerful brew and it immediately hits Killian like a ton of bricks. In his stupor, he sees Freya and she realizes what he’s done and insists she’s alive, they will be together and he needs to contact Ingrid immediately if not sooner and tell her to use the lotus root elixir to lessen the effects of Killian’s poison potion. Killian is able to call Ingrid; she arrives just in time to give him some of the elixir. She leaves the bottle of elixir with instructions to take it every fifteen minutes and heads… Continue
CELINE

CELINE (When Hearts Dare #1) by Kathleen Bittner Roth

It’s been a while since I’ve read a non-Scottish themed historical romance. Hello genre I’ve been neglecting, let’s be friends again. CELINE begins in plantation era-New Orleans and moves along the wagon train of the untamed American West. Roth’s descriptions of the forbidden sultry feel of New Orleans and the gritty countryside of the American West will catapult you into the world Celine and Trevor inhabit. Celine has had a tough life full of hardship and misfortune. Widowed young, she’s left to regroup all alone. The kindness of an older plantation owner helps her heal and gives her a home full of dignity, support and love. When the playboy prodigal son returns on business, the sexual tension builds to fill the final portion of Celine’s broken spirit. Trevor has been battling his own demons over… Continue
SweeterThanSin

SWEETER THAN SIN (Secrets & Shadows #2) by Shiloh Walker

SWEETER THAN SIN is the story of Adam and Lana, friends from childhood that have held each other’s secrets sacred for years even though it has torn them apart. SWEETER THAN SIN is also the continuation of a much bigger story in the small town of Madison. It should be noted that the Secrets & Shadows series deals with a very dark and deeply disturbing subject matter. I say that as a heads up more than a warning. While the bigger picture is explained, the gruesome details are mostly left to our imagination. The town of Madison is in the throes of sorting out a child molestation group whose existence is finally coming to light. Cronus Club is a group of the town’s most respected and revered men who indoctrinate their sons into manhood with… Continue
Witches of East End_Feat

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode 11

This episode lands us in 1848 Baltimore. Joanna, Wendy and Freya are looking for a very powerful weapon that will destroy dear old dad. Present day Joanna, Wendy and Freya have twelve hours to locate this weapon while avoiding bumping into their 1848 selves. During this jaunt back in time we are able to see Wendy and Joanna in very different roles. 1848 Joanna is upset over Victor leaving her and has decided to drown her sorrow in heroin. She’s basically a useless addict who leaves Wendy to run the brothel the sisters own. Freya and Ingrid work at the bar/brothel as well, reading tarot cards. Wendy is the level headed, take-charge sister in this era. While working in the bar, Freya meets a young writer named Edgar Allen Poe and becomes his muse. It… Continue
scandal

SCANDAL, Season 4 Premiere

All summer we were teased by #WhereInTheWorldIsOliviaPope splashed across beach blimps and, of course, the pop culture terrain of cyberspace.  Not since Dallas’s legendary “Who Shot JR” cliffhanger has a series kept TV viewers in such a hot and bothered state of anticipation. At the close of Scandal’s season three, DC powerhouse crisis manager, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), weary and dispirited from her on-again off-again affair with married lover, President Fitzgerald Grant—Fitz as played by Tony Goldwyn—as well as the omnipresent machinations of her terrorist mother and B613 director father (think CIA but off-book and on steroids) flies off to parts unknown with lover, Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), the Navy captain turned B613 operative and, later, its director. Repeatedly Jake has enjoined Olivia to abandon the shadows (the corruption of DC, the White House,… Continue
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WITCHES OF EAST END, Episode 10

After last week’s bombshell ending, this week’s events were far easier on my emotions and my wine/ice cream intake. Of course we start off with the hanging girls and that’s terrible enough but Joanna’s grieving and Wendy trying to be her rock is a double whammy of sad. I mean, Joanna is at such a loss, she tries to kill herself in the bathtub. She would’ve succeeded had Wendy not stepped in and saved the day. Joanna and Wendy did a remarkable job pulling us into the grief and helplessness of the situation. Add in Killian’s reaction when he barges in and finds Freya all displayed and prepared for burial and well, it’ll give you the feels, all of them. We still don’t know the full story behind Freddie’s extreme hatred of Killian but something… Continue
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WITCHES OF EAST END, Episode Nine

** SPOILER ALERT ** I drank all of my wine and had to resort to copious amounts of ice cream to get through this episode. So much happens and not just in the last two minutes (not that the last two minutes aren’t an action-packed sucker punch to the throat!) Ok, we will start at the top. We start off with Dash in a mood. Ingrid refuses to talk to him and I’m beginning to think he might really have feelings for her, not just of the sexual variety. Dash is trashing the attic yet again in all of his rage and discovers a box of old journals and spell books. Within the pages of these books, he finds an old-timey picture of Ingrid and knows he must get to her immediately. Freddie is still… Continue
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WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Eight

This episode kicks off in the forest. Note to all mortals: stay out of those woods people! Freddie and Tarkoff are busy cutting people up trying to find a proper host for the King. Sadly, since all of the victims are terrified and fighting the process, the transfer isn’t working. Tarkoff explains to Freddie, he needs to find a willing host, someone who trusts him. Oh poor Caroline, poor, poor, you’ll-be-dead-soon Caroline. That’s just the start of this week’s episode; stick with me, a lot of stuff is about to go down. It’s Freya’s thirtieth birthday and there will be a party and cake. I do have to say, it’s funny listening to Freya lament the fact that her life is in the dumps – turning thirty, still living at home with your mom, working… Continue
vampiresofmanhattan

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN by Melissa de la Cruz

I am a new Melissa de la Cruz convert. As you already know, I recap the weekly Lifetime series, Witches of East End which is based on her books about the Beauchamp family; now I have a new de la Cruz series to follow. Vampires of Manhattan is a spin off of de la Cruz’s YA series, Blue Bloods. Since I am not a big reader of all things Young Adult, I will admit to not being completely familiar with that series. Have no fear; de la Cruz does an excellent job getting me up to speed. I was able to glean enough back-story about each main player in this series to make me,  a newbie, feel right at home. I am a huge paranormal fan. Not all paranormal is created equal. The world-building necessary… Continue
Witches of East End_Feat

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Seven

This episodes kicks off with two of the worst things that could happen while having sex. Freddie and his new chick, Caroline are enjoying each other all naked and such when Freddie’s Mom, Joanna walks in and sees aplenty. Across the way, Killian and Eva are going at it
(as they are wont to do all the freaking time) when suddenly Killian sees an altered version of Eva — or did he see the real Eva? Either way, what he saw was a total boner killer since Eva looked like a craggy old witch, warts on the face and all. Speaking of things that you know are going to turn sexual, Dash surprises Ingrid at the library and invites her to the East End Arts Coalition’s black tie gala, as friends of course (riiiiight, just… Continue
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WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Six

This episode kicks off with Hudson, Ingrid’s library co-worker, popping in to grab something he left behind only to find an obviously be-spelled Ingrid in a pile of disarray sprawled out on the floor. In an odd sing-songy voice, Ingrid tells him she’s so glad he was chosen and seconds later, the Madragora and his creepy tentacles attack poor Hudson. When the group looking for Ingrid finally finds him, a freshly bad guy carved up and branded Hudson tells them “he wanted to wear my skin but it wasn’t a good fit” and then rounds the final corner on the death train. The take away should be, don’t befriend a witch in this town, if we did a roll call, I think we’d find only one or two mortals remain in the immortal friend circle.… Continue
Witches of East End_Feat

WITCHES OF THE EAST END, Episode Five

After taking a week off, Witches of East End kicks off with Joanna doing a solitary ritual in the woods, to put Victor’s soul at rest. Her mourning period is interrupted by a black form flyby and immediately Joanna knows a Mandragora is loose in the woods. Finally, blue sex leech Avatar guy has a species type! Mandragoras are some of the worst creatures in all of Asgard and almost no one has survived a brush with these nasty dudes. Mandragoras develop parasitic sexual relationships with their mate and even pull energy from the mate when they are not feeding. If you kill or injure a Mandragora, the mate suffers the same fate – not good news for Ingrid. Joanna knows the only person who has ever gone to battle with a Mandragora and lived… Continue
LayitDown

LAY IT DOWN by Cara McKenna

The Dessert Dogs is a new series from Cara McKenna. This is the part where I admit to Lay It Down being my very first Cara McKenna book. McKenna has been on my TBR pile forever and I am so happy I finally got the chance to read her. And what a way to start. The Dessert Dogs series promises to be an excellent one, full of mystery, suspense, danger, and passion. Let’s start at the beginning, the very beginning…the cover. There is a whole lot of pretty on that cover but don’t be mistaken: Lay It Down isn’t a conventional motorcycle club themed book. Yes, you have a group of guys, a small group of friends but a group nonetheless. Yes they ride motorcycles. No, there is not a club. No, there isn’t a… Continue