Sunday, February 28, 2010

THE VIRGIN'S SECRET - Abby Green



The Virgin’s Secret by Abby Green was a sensual and riveting read. It was also connected to the author’s recent release, Ruthless Greek Boss, Secretary Mistress. Revenge and getting even was the main theme of the book between two Greek families the Parnassus and the Kassianides.

Leo Parnassus for me was like no other alpha. He was extremely handsome, charismatic, wealthy in his own right and should have grown up in Greece. However, his family including his grandmother were exiled to North America because one of their own was accused wrongly by the Kassianides. Now years later due to his father’s hard work to clear the family name and along with that make the Parassus shipping business worth millions, Leo is called back to Greece to take over his father’s firm and for the first time in his life, steps on Greece soil. On the eve he is to be announced the head of the family business, he meets a waitress who takes his breath away and he kisses her. When Angel realizes who he is she flees his villa and then the worse thing happens, he finds out her identify, that she is a Kassianides. That she’s from the very same family who cost him so much of his childhood; his mother’s death, his father’s affection and not allowing his beloved grandmother to return to Greece.

Angel Kassianides was not only a beautiful and talented woman, she was devoted to her sister Delphi. Her first love was designing and making jewelry but she had to give that up to help send her sister to law school and support her family. Angel worked hard taking menial jobs. On top of that, her abusive father had turned to the bottle because of his families down fall. And just when you think nothing more can happen her sister finds her self pregnant and unable to marry her childhood sweetheart. His family won’t allow it due to the Kassianides scandal. Angel is determined to give her sister everything she wants no matter what the cost.

Leo and Angel were destined to meet, destined to be together and their love story is powerful yet very painful to read. The plot was brilliant, a family feud, passion that sizzles off the pages, anger, mistrust all of the ingredients for a roller coaster romance. So when Angel finds out that her father has broken into Leo’s villa and has the power to destroy and humiliate the Parassus family yet again, she takes the document he has in his possession and tries to sneak it back into the office at the villa. Of course, she’s caught by Leo, they argue, they kiss and he demands his revenge in the form of payment; he wants, no he desires her and demands she become his mistress! What Leo doesn't count on is her inexperience and he’s floored when he finds out she’s a virgin.

Angel has one condition to becoming his mistress. She insists that Leo makes the marriage happen for her sister and he agrees. However, not before parading her before Greece’s high society, humiliating her, flaunting their relationship especially before her father at the wedding and causing her fathers’ wrath. And this wonderful and sweet Angel, takes it all not just for her sister but because in the end she realizes no matter what she loves Leo but also realizes he’ll never love her back. However, now that her sister is married will Leo’s revenge be to discard her like the trash? Her mother had abandoned her at a young age, her father treated her cruelly and would Leo do the same? Leo struggled with emotion, his feelings and he struggled with his need for Angel and Ms. Green portrays those emotions brilliantly!

Author Abby Green charmed me with this beautifully crafted romance. Reading about Leo letting go of his past and accepting his feelings of love for Angel was amazing to read. The Virgin’s Secret is quite an extraordinary love story, so full of emotions and secrets, harsh secrets one will find hard to read. In the end, this wonderful romance is about trust, forgiveness, acceptance and love. It's a keeper, one I'll read over and over again.

Behind the Book:

This book was born out of my last UK release: Ruthless Greek Boss, Secretary Mistress. My hero in that book, Aristotle Levakis, does a big deal with a recently repatriated Greek titan of industry in Athens, and I suddenly found myself wondering if this man who had been in exile in the US all his life, had children? And what would it be like if he had a son who was coming to Greece - his ancestral homeland for the first time? Then I wondered what could have driven this family from Greece in the first place…and came up with a plot.

Leonidas Parnassus comes to Athens for the first time in his life and is blown away by the pull it has on him when he spent his life growing up in the states. Also he is stunned at the strength of hatred he feels for the family who were responsible for his family’s misfortune and enforced exile. For the first time he can really appreciate what he’s missed.

On his first week in Athens he meets a lowly waitress, Angel, and is captivated by her. But then he finds out that she is not just a waitress; she is the daughter of his family’s sworn enemy. And Leo vows to have his revenge…even though Angel is innocent, in all respects.

Abby Green's Website

Monday, February 22, 2010

MARRIAGE: FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? - Nicola Marsh

Nicola Marsh has penned an outstanding love story in Marriage: For Business or Pleasure? It is evident that Ms. Marsh is incredibly talented when it comes to writing stories guaranteed to inflame the senses of her readers

Nick and Brittany had a past as 10 years ago they were lovers. For Nick she was the one but he sent her away. However, Britt was determined to leave because of an abusive father and when she asked Nick to go with her, he turned her down. Now ten years later she’s back with a proposition to the Mancini’s and if they agree, she’ll get the promotion she’s determined to get putting her at the top of her field in advertising..

Nick is now the only Mancini running the family sugar cane plantation he inherited from his father. He has also become a millionaire and own several five star hotels. He can’t believe Britt has come back home and when he hears her proposal he ups the anty by offering her marriage because in order to branch out internationally if he’s married he won’t portray a playboy image. Britt still affects him but Nick doesn’t believe in love. He didn’t love her ten years ago, he felt he lusted after her. To him love meant loss, loneliness, and pain emotions he could do without. The women in his life walked away and the only thing he knew for sure was the Mancini plantation and his hotel chain.

Ten years of wasted time away from each other for this couple, years of hurt, pain, misunderstanding and they’ve both kept secrets from each other. While Britt was here in Australia they had eight weeks together, plus she needed to visit her father and try to make amends before he died. All of the abusive memories came flooding back to her and when she saw her father, nothing had changed, he was still the same mean and angry man she left ten years earlier. So now she wants to focus on her career and that meant speding time at her new husband, out at the plantation where it all began, making her pitch to get her promotion. Can her heart stand being around the love of her life? Yes, because they become intimate and she realizes how much she loves this man and how if would hurt to much to leave him again. She wants it all and most important of all, his love!

His “red” still affects him; nothing has changed that fact. However, keeping his hands off her was becoming more difficult; the stolen kisses, touching and now she was his wife and after having her, he wanted it all. But first he had to settle the score with her father. Back then he had the need to show the town and Britt he could be a success and now he's determined to become a success in the international market as well.

And then things start to unravel; secrets, trust issues cause it all to explode in their faces. Nick realizes he loves her and trys to prove it but she in the end she leaves and returns to London. The ending surprised me because I had hoped all would end well for this couple. I didn’t think I would shed a tear……wrong! I admired this Italian bad-boys stamina to get the woman he loved back. Hold on to your heart, because the ending chapters will surprise you.

Nicola Marsh ties everything together and made this the most magnificent love story taking their past into the future, giving the reader a romantic story full of second chances.

Behind the Book from I(Heart)Presents

From Authors Website
Nicola Marsh’s Website
A USA Today Bestseller

Book Dsecription:

Brittany Lloyd faces the deal of a lifetime…with the ex who broke her heart—Italian tycoon Nick Mancini. Little does she know that her rebellious bad boy is now a multimillionaire….


Nick can't believe his eyes! His red-haired wildcat has become a businesswoman, with designer suits to match. She needs his help…and he wants her. So he proposes a convenient marriage—strictly business, of course!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

THE GREEK TYCOON’S RELUCTANT BRIDE - Kate Hewitt (Greek Husbands)




The Greek Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride by Kate Hewitt is an extremely powerful story where emotions run high and that’s putting it mildly!

The way the author introduces her hero, Demos Atrikes was amazing. In the Prologue, one learns that at the early age of twelve, Demos’s father left the family leaving him responsible for his mother and sisters. And then a wonderful thing happenes, Demos met a wealthy Englishman who mentored him, allowing him to work so he could help support his family. His mentor also sent him off to school where he became a marine architect and now he builds yachts and is a very successful and well respected millionaire.

Demos’s character I adored as I could see his strength, and his determination to take care of his family. And now he realizes that maybe he needs to give up his playboy life style, marry, move forward and set an example for his youngest troubled sister. The author shows so many of Demos emotions such as the guilt he feels towards Brianna, his young sister who clings to him and his need to find someone strong who doesn’t depend on him.

One evening while attending a business associates party , he sees a beautiful and vibrant young woman, a siren with sex appeal and immediately he’s attractted to her. He wants her and he’s determined to take her out. Let’s just say for Demos it becomes a challenge to find out her identity and more about her. She interests him because he feels she’s strong, sexy, somewhat of a wild child. She’s someone he won’t have to take care of like he’s had to do for his family. He can just enjoy her and get to know her.

Althea Paranoussis is one of the most unsual heroines I think I’ve ever read about as she has so many secrets that have mapped out who she’s become, a woman who appears to be strong but is tormented. A spoilt socialite, who embarrasses her father through bad press. She wants someone to see her for who she is but Demos sees her beauty, how vibrant she is and decides he wants an uncomplicated life with a wife that will excite him and not drag him down with the need to cling.

When Demos finds out from his mentor that her father has arranged a marriage for her, he approaches him with an offer her father can’t refuse. Althea’s father threatens to throw her out on the streets if she doesn’t marry Demos and it becomes clear to her she’s trapped. In the end, Althea accepts because for her Demos gives her options and hope that maybe she has a chance to live, to escape her past, and move forward.

She’s numb during her wedding and at their reception. And then on their wedding night everything unravels because of her past. Demos is shocked by his new wife’s behaviour as he thought he was marrying an experienced woman. Their wedding night sets so many things in motion and Demos won’t stand for what’s happened and demands they go on a honeymoon to get to know each other and become a couple. Horrible secrets are revealed which makes one wonder if they have a chance. When they finally make head way because of Demos patience with his new bride, if gives one hope. And then the most horrible thing happens, they are called back to Athens due to a family suicide attempt. Because of the family guilt Demos has been carrying, he rejects Althea as he can’t take one more person depending upon him.

Through a new strength gained because she knew she loved Demos and with a new found determination, Althea convinces her husband not to give up, they can have a future. She forces him to see they both love each other. All I can say is that Kate Hewitt has written an engrossing plot with shocking twists and turns and I found myself on the edge of the seat. It’s takes two people so opposite yet meant to be and in the end the most wonderful happy ending.

Behind the Book From I(heart)Presents:

Book Description:


Darkly handsome Demos Atrikes wants a wife to provide heirs to his fortune. No emotions, no complications…

Catching sight of stunning, intriguing Althea Paranoussis, he has to have her. She may be a society party girl, but he believes she's perfect wife material—and their wedding is arranged.

The chemistry between them is all-consuming. But once married, Demos discovers the painful truth of Althea's childhood. She needs more from him than he'd ever planned to give….

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

THE VENADICCI MARRIAGE VENGEANCE – Melanie Milburne (Latin Lovers)



Melanie Milburne takes her readers on a sensual and emotional journey with The Venadicci Marriage Vengeance. It’s a very engrossing and emotional love story.

For Vinn Venadicci it was going to be a pleasure to tame the woman who he couldn’t seem to forget and now she was going to become his wife after seven long years. Vinn’s mother was the St. Clairs housekeeper and during her teenage years Gariella had taunted him and on the eve of her wedding when he asked her not to marry because he knew the truth about her husband, she refused but not before kissing him back. And then he knew someday they had to be together, even though she was marrying out of duty to her family and to a family friend.

He was ruthless, rich and had the power to save her father’s company and the choice was hers as Vinn gave her only one option……to marry him. Gabby agrees for her parents sake but she wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She might marry him but he was definitely not going to have her. In her youth she had been shallow and cruel to Vinn, had taunted him and now she thought he was going to get even with her. However, she needs Vinn to settle and save her father’s company as someone is calling in the loan and trying to take the company. What Gabby doesn’t know is who and the secrets concerning the takeover. All she knows is due to her father being hospitalized, he can’t take one more stressful event in his life.

The sexual chemistry between Vinn and Gabby leaps off the pages. She can’t seem to control her temper around him where Vinn controls his quite well. Is he out for revenge because of the way she treated him in the past? Has there always been an underlying attraction to this Italian bad boy by this spoiled rich girl? Yes to both but you will absolutely not believe how spectacular their love story is and how they work though their past, their present and their future.

Their marriage begins with all sorts of barbs, accussations and the honeymoon, well let’s just say, Ms. Milburne wrote one romantic masterpiece. My heart ached for them both because trying to read between the lines, I sincerely believed they must have loved each other all of those years ago when Vinn had visited her brother and his mother at their mansion. All of those years of Gabby teasing, taunting and making fun of him. And now, the tables are turned because their time honeymoon spent together at the St. Clair’s island resort had their emotions skyrocketing! When Gabby reveals about her abussive marriage and Vinn reveals a few things himself, you actually wonder how they can make this marriage work.

In the end, it was about forgiveness, understanding and accepting each other, loving each other. The Venadicci Marriage Vengeance is one incredible romance and gives one a new meaning to second chances.

Behind the Book at I(Heart)Presents:

Book Description:

Wedded for revenge, bedded for pleasure!

Gabriella St Clair is desperate: she and her family face financial ruin. One man can help her. But he’s the very man who wants to see her beg...

Merciless tycoon Vinn Venadicci had a heart once. But after an encounter with the young, spoilt hotel heiress Gabriella, any feelings he had were locked away for ever. Now she’s on his doorstep --- pleading. He could send her packing. Or finally have a little vengeance of his own. After all, Gabriella Venadicci has quite a ring to it.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

PURE PRINCESS, BARTERED BRIDE (Bride on Approval) - Caitlin Crews



For Luke Garnier it was all about a proper marriage, a marriage without scandal like his parents, a marriage where he was in control, a royal marriage with the perfect princess, one of breeding. In fact, to make sure his future wife would cause no scandals nor find herself in the tabloids he personally followed her to make sure she would be worthy of becoming his wife. Now as he watches her walk down the isle, she takes his breath away and he’s absolutely positive he’s made the right choice. She’s regal, elegant and beautiful, the perfect bride.

Gabrielle, the Princess of Miravakia lost her mother at an early age and always first and foremost tried to please her father. She spent years trying to earn his love, was the King’s perfect hostess and still there was no acceptance from him. Now on behalf of his daughter he’s signed a contract for an arranged marriage unbeknown to her. She marries Luc Garnier, because her father demands it. However, she panics immediately after the wedding reception and feels the urgent need to get away from this man who affects in physical ways she can’t explain….he’s so powerful, stern, handsome and the emotions he stirs in her confuse her and what he expects of her, she’s frightened. In spite of Luc and her father, she flees.

Luc was a handsome, hard, fierce and a ruthless business man. However, under all of that hardness one senses while reading this particular story he’s protecting his heart because of what he suffered during his youth. It becomes evident when he chases his new wife to California because she ran out on him, causing them to be splashed all over the tabloids. His perfect princess has made a fool of him just like his mother did to his father and he’s not going to stand for it. His wife will do as he says and she will be his wife in every sense of the word. What this handsome, successful billionaire didn’t realize was the attractions he would feel towards her and how much he would want her. Luc was magic to Gabrielle and she was afraid that he would hurt her and in the end she would loose herself.

For a debut romance, Caitlin Crews has written a brilliant royal romance, a roller coaster romance with extremely intense emotions oozing from both Luc and Gabrielle. I enjoyed reading Pure Princess, Bartered Bride, loved reading about them becoming comfortable with each other. Luc and Gabrielle were both intense characters because of their scared pasts but in the end, it was so moving when Gabrielle realizes she loves her husband and the lengths she goes to protect him. And for Luc, scandal and betrayal were always at the back of his mind. So when he feels betrayed he lashes out and let me tell Luc’s rage was very hard to read.

As with all love stories, Luc and Gabrielle’s was one I shall long remember. In the ending scenes as Ms. Crews states, Gabrielle says “she spent her whole life loving someone who could not love her in return.” She said, “I think love is feeling free. Not hidden away, not afraid. But finally whole – together.”

Behind the Book and Author’s Call Story

Caitlin’s website:

This book is a USA Today Best Seller

Book Description:

As quiet and dangerous as a jungle cat, achieving the impossible is one of Luc Garnier's defining characteristics.

Princess Gabrielle is invaluable—a pearl beyond price. Yet Luc has defied the odds, and a contract for marriage is drawn up. This will be a union on paper first, and in the bedroom later….

Except Gabrielle is just the same in private as in public—well-bred, well behaved and a credit to her country. Luc is determined to find the wanton within and leave his pure princess in total disarray!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Reading a Valentines Book? I am.....Racing Hearts

I work next door to a Barnes and Noble which is a very dangerous thing and this caught my eye.  I'm such a fan of Vicki Lewis Thompson's contemporary romance.  Plus the fact that a few years ago I met VLT and her lovely daughter Audrey.  What a pair of incredible women.  I'm for sure going yo read Vicky's story from this book and when I get the time, finish the other aurhors as my tbr pile if growing.

Racing Hearts Book Description:
by Vicki Lewis Thompson and Nancy Warren and Dorien Kelly


She's plotted the course


Car chief Roni Kenway has a plan. She'll save her racing team and (hopefully) convince her crew chief, Judd Timmons, that she's the perfect mix of business and pleasure. But will she coast down Victory Lane…or crash into the wall?


She's in Daytona


Haunted by a sadistic book about last-chance love, Lucy Vanderwal hopes a trip to Daytona will end with love. But when she discovers her "last chance" guy is a lemon, Lucy meets rookie driver Sawyer Patton…and learns even a late starter can be a winner!


And she's behind the wheel!


Driver Megan Carter just got back from a dream vacation—sun, sand and a sizzling fling with Chris Donahue. Now all she needs is to prove herself on the race track. But how can she do that when Chris turns up in her garage—in her real life—and says he's there to stay?


Dear Reader,


I'm a NASCAR convert. I confess that until diving into this story, I knew very little about NASCAR. But as the proud owner of a hot little two-seater sports car, I was more than willing to learn about fast cars and the daredevils who drive them.


Am I glad I did! I bought videos, pestered friends, researched online and bought NASCAR for Dummies by the intrepid Mark Martin. I was in total immersion mode. I couldn't quite fit in a trip to Daytona for research, so I did the next best thing and looked for the biggest, baddest flat screen I could find, which turned out to be at my local sports bar.


And now I get it! I understand why men cheer and women swoon. This is one fascinating sport packed with thrills, chills and…in the case of Roni and Judd, the perfect environment for a budding romance. NASCAR rocks!


Speedily yours,
Vicki Lewis Thompson
From VLT’s newsletter:


All you NASCAR fans out there know that Valentine’s Day, 2010, means . . . DAYTONA!!! Guess what it also means? RACING HEARTS will be out! A year ago I was sitting in a sports bar watching the big race on a huge screen and taking notes for my novella. This year when you hear Drivers, start your engines, RACING HEARTS will be available, with stories by me, Dorien Kelly and Nancy Warren. Isn’t life terrific?

Friday, February 05, 2010

THE BLACKMAILED BRIDE'S SECRET CHILD - Rachel Bailey



Author Rachel Bailey has written an extremely heated and entertaining romance in The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child. It’s about secrets, betrayal and second chances set in beautiful New Zealand’s wine country.

As I began reading this wonderful romance I asked myself would I be able to walk away from the love of my life, to sacrifice happiness to keep a secret that I knew would destroy him. Well that’s what Beth did because her lover Nico’s brother Kent, blacked mailed her into marrying him and whisked her away from Australia and took her to New Zealand. Now the very evil step-brother Kent has passed away and who should arrive on her doorstep but Nico himself to provide his condolences from his father and from him.

Nico Jordan is determined to have Beth in his bed again. He’s here on his father’s behalf for two reasons, to meet his nephew, persuade Beth to allow access to his father to see his grandchild and to attend the launch of a new Jordan wine. However, his main goal is to bed Beth. And then walk away. He doesn’t give her much of a choice because unbeknown to him, Beth still loves him. He taunts her, demands to take her to the launch and then keeps touching her and she succumbs to his charms and spends the night with him. Always first and foremost in her mind is that she can’t let Nico meet Marco because when he does, he’ll realize he’s Marco’s father.

There were so many secrets to the fabulous love story. For Nico, Beth still takes his breath away even though he fights it because he feels so betrayed that she left him for his brother and he can’t seem to let it go. For Beth, she needs to find the papers her deceased husband has left hidden so that Nico and his father aren’t hurt by that secret she’s been keeping. Also, the fact that Marco is Nico’s son and she still loves Nico.

When the inevitable happens, and Nico accidentally meets Marco, well everything changes. Their meeting will have you weeping, Ms. Bailey’s has written such and sweet and moving meeting of father and son. However, it’s the heartache for Beth, seeing father and son and knowing they would probably never be a family unit because of her betrayal and hurt she caused Nico. Be prepared for this roller coaster romance because you’ll wonderful if Nico will ever be able to forgive Beth and give her a second chance.

The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child more then satisfies readers by giving them a fully developed love story in a short contemporary romance.

Behind the Book:

Author Rachel Bailey says in Dear Reader:

 "There's something about a tortured hero, something I find irresistible. And my heroine B eth, finds Nico Jordan quite irresistible too--so I know she'll need a very good reason to have left him five years ago (though he wasn't tortured back then, just the plain old garden-variety irresistible!) Luckily Nico finds Beth just as tempting."

Rachel also spent some time in the Marlborough region of New Zealand researching and wine tasting. What great fun!

Book Description:

Nico Jordan's world shattered when his lover Beth betrayed him by marrying his brother. Now, seven years later, Nico wants some answers. But that's not all he wants. When he lays eyes on Beth again, the overwhelming desire he once had for her comes surging back.

Beth never forgot the only man she's ever loved—or the scandal that surrounded their union. Although their attraction is still strong, Beth knows she must resist his advances. Succumbing to even just one night of unrelenting lust could unravel her secret—a secret that would threaten more than their relationship.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

February Recipe of the Month - Valentines Day Red Velvet Cake

2 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Icing:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt.

Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.

Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

Icing:

Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar and blend. Fold in coconut and nuts. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.

Monday, February 01, 2010

FEBRUARY CONTEST



February here on my review site I'm celebrating Valentines Day and giving away the absolutely wonderful Bought:  The Greek's Baby by the incredible Jennie Lucas.  Jennie is a personal friend of mine and a fellow "redhead".  She's very talented and resides in Idaho with her husband and two children.

This book kept me awake into the wee hours of the morning yesterday.  It's definitely not for the faint at heart.  It's about betrayal and revenge with a wonderful happy ending.  My review was just posted yesterday on this blog so please check it out.

In order to win a copy, please share a special way you've celebrated Valentines day or how you will spend it this year. 
If you're a daring person and you've ever been betrayed, share that with us and did you get even?

Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Additional book contest over at Romancing the Desert and at Romance Author Buzz

December and January Book Winners


December winner of Sandra Marton's Dante:  Claiming His Secret Love Child was Tamsyn.


January five winners of Raeanne Thayne's The Cowoy's Christmas Miracle were Hoye, Kara, Haleyknitz, Callmekayla and Maureen.

Please email me your address details at seattlesnoops at aol dot com.

Thanks to all for entering!
 

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