RAW DESIRE by Kate Pearce

PUBLISHING INFO: Aphrodisia, 9/2011
GENRE: Contempory Erotic Romance
SETTING: California, present day
HEROINE: Ally Kendal
HERO: Rob Ward

Unforgettable Pleasure
Ally Kendal knows returning to her hometown to sell her mother’s house isn’t going to be easy. She left in disgrace years ago and hasn’t been back since. But she’s never forgotten the one man who awakened in her a secret yearning for wildly erotic sexual pleasure…

Undeniable Desire
Rob Ward is surprised at the surge of desire he feels when he first sees Ally after all this time. He’s gotten over the betrayal he felt when he found her and his best friend together on the eve of his wedding, but it’s obvious he’s never given up wanting her. And now that she’s back he’ll show her what she’s missed, how good he makes her feel, how easy it is for him to take control and bring her to the edge of sweet surrender…

Ally: She’s twenty-eight or so. She has long dark hair and gray eyes. She’s a childhood friend of both Rob and Jackson and is a recovering drug addict.

Rob: He’s a thirty-year old sheriff. He has pale blue eyes and dark hair. He’s beyond alpha.

Jackson: He’s Rob’s roommate and fellow sheriff. He’s half American Indian and has dark hair, brown eyes.

MY THOUGHTS: This is one helluva sexual book. I lost count of how many sex scenes there were. RAW DESIRE is the most perfect title for it. This is the unconventional love story between three people: Ally, Rob and Jackson. They all were involved with each other as teenagers. Once Ally comes back to town, the sex begins. Rob is still attracted to her and he lets her know right away. She’s very passive and submissive to him. He tells her that he wants Jackson to join them always when they have sex and both she and Jackson want that too.

There are sex scenes between Ally/Rob, Ally/Jackson, Ally/Rob/Jackson and my favorite of all, Rob/Jackson. The sex scenes are beyond graphic and intense and more that I ever could have hoped to read about. When I got this book, I had no idea it would be about a sexual relationship between three people. I loved it.

As for the underlying plot, with someone out to get Ally, I was disappointed with it. I had suspected two people and I wasn’t surprised to learn who it was. I didn’t like Rob’s bitchy younger sister, Lauren, either and didn’t see the point of her character. I was real irritated at how Ally let her talk to her.

This book is a true scorcher and anyone who is into reading about graphic sex shouldn’t find one thing to complain about.

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


PUB. INFO: Brava, September 2011
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1800s
HEROINE: Jessica Sheffield
HERO: Alistair Caulfield

From GoodReads.com:

The longer the resistance…

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .

…the sweeter the reward
Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes—all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk—and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .

MY THOUGHTS: I found Jessica to pretty interesting. She and her younger sister, Hester, were physically abused by their father. She’s now widowed and has developed a drinking problem over the years. She seems to do a pretty good job of staying away from it.

I liked Hester’s story much more than Jessica’s and Alistair’s. Hester is twenty-three and in an abusive marriage to Edward. Edward has a drinking problem, which makes their marriage a nightmare. Hester is terribly unhappy and it shows in her appearance.

Alistair is very handsome and was a gigolo. He’s always had an attraction to Jessica. What I like most about Jessica is that she’s not afraid to let her feelings for Alistair be known. They’re very straightforward with one another.

The sex was very explicit and there was plenty of it. I’m not sure what year this story took place or how old Jessica and Alistair are. That annoyed me.

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


PUB. INFO: University of Georgia Press, 9/99
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir

From Goodreads.com:
From age four to eighteen Sue William Silverman was sexually abused with numbing regularity by her father, a high-ranking government official and successful banker. Rendered in often graphic detail, her story annihilates our complacency about who among us could commit such evil – and who could stop it, for this is also a story of complicity, of the blaming silence with which Silverman’s mother met her daughter’s clear signals of distress. Exposing the inner contours of a family in crisis, Silverman shows how their situation persisted for so long – unreported, undetected, and unconfessed – and how the ordeal colored and controlled her life well into adulthood.

MY THOUGHTS: How the author could be so open and honest about something so horrible is beyond me. Not only was she molested for many years, beginning at the age of four, around 1950, she’s a recovering sex addict, ‘cutter’, and is still bulimic. She comes from a long line of child abusers. The book is very dark, very graphic, so be warned. Sue takes us on a disturbing journey through her life. She holds nothing back.

ABSOLUTE MAYHEM: Secret Confessions of a Porn Star by Monica Mayhem

PUB. INFO: Skyhorse Publishing, 10/2010
GENRE: Autobiography/Memoir

From Amazon.com: So begins the no-holds-barred autobiography of Monica Mayhem—a porn star and proud of it. In her funny and disarmingly candid voice, she reveals the ins and outs of making it big in Los Angeles, the pornography capital of the world. Just how did a girl who was taunted at school because her eyes were “too big,” and who carved out a respectable career for herself trading oil futures in the financial markets of Sydney and London, go on to make over four hundred hardcore adult movies (and counting), win numerous industry awards, and even land herself a role in the first Sex and the City movie? From her troubled childhood to her first show at the famous Spearmint Rhino in London to her favorite sex toys, Monica reveals how she built her empire—which now includes hundreds of films, a website, and lucrative burlesque performances.

Absolute Mayhem lifts the lid on the sex, rock, and mayhem of Monica’s truly extraordinary professional life and unveils the private person behind it all.

MY THOUGHTS: Wow! This is one blunt, graphic, tell-it-like-it-is memoir. Monica is one smart, confident woman. She was born in Australia in 1978 to an abusive, pill-popping, alcohol addicted mother and absentee father. She grew up feeling unloved and unwanted. She has found success in a tough business and has achieved so much at a young age. She’s brutally honest with everything she talks about, including her continued drug use. She seems to have a really positive attitude and one helluva sense of humor.

This book was a true A-read. If, like me, complete honesty and openness is what you want in a memoir, this is a book you should read. I truly wish Monica the best and hope she continues to have a positive attitude.

You can read a bit about Monica here and see her photo.


PUB INFO: Dreamspinner Press, 9/2011
GENRE: Male/Male historical romance
SETTING: England, 1818
HERO: Lord James Warren
HERO: Kyle Allen

Lord James Warren, Viscount Sudbury, lives a quiet, safe, and predictable life alone on his estate in Suffolk, only traveling to London once a year to visit family and satisfy his more forbidden needs. But this year, his routine is shattered when his niece and nephew ask him to help a beautiful young man they’ve only just met.

Kyle Allen, alone and running from his abusive lover, stirs feelings in James he has long denied for fear of tarnishing his reputation and losing his family’s love. Though undeniably drawn to Kyle, James’s honor demands he keep that part of himself completely secret, even if Kyle is feeling the attraction as well, despite the pain and betrayal he’s recently suffered.

Assistance and a future for Kyle might be secured, but then they would face a choice: stay apart and continue leading half-lives… or risk everything for love.


James: He’s thirty-four years old, over six feet tall, has brown curly hair and brown eyes. He’s the youngest of two. He lives alone and is very close to his nineteen-year old twin niece and nephew.

Kyle: He’s eighteen-ish, has dark hair and green eyes. He grew up in his older brother’s shadow and could never live up to his parents expectations. He was in an abusive relationship with a much older man, Victor Weir, and has been raped by him.

What an interesting story this was. It’s a true love story and James and Kyle are a perfect match. James really tried to fight off his attraction to Kyle but Kyle wouldn’t let him. Kyle is very young and vulnerable to everything. He’s very passive and wounded. They have to hide their relationship and I was hoping they’d find a way to be together.

There are three very graphic sex scenes. Knowing Kyle has been abused, James is very tender with him. I felt they were a perfect pair and that made me enjoy the intimate scenes more.

My two complaints are that I don’t think James telling his niece about Kyle was believable at all. We never learned about how Kyle came to be involved with Victor in the first place and I’d like to have known about it.

I truly loved this story and consider it to be a favorite of mine.

VIXEN by Jillian Larkin

PUB. INFO: Delacorte Press, December 2010
RERELEASE: Ember, August 9, 2011
SETTING: Chicago, USA, 1923
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PART OF SERIES? ‘The Flappers’, book one.
HEROINE: Gloria Carmody, 17

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . .

Gloria Garmody- She’s the heroine and has red/copper hair and green eyes. She’s a seventeen year old high school girl who lives in Chicago. She comes from a wealthy family. She’s engaged to a twenty-three year old young man named Sebastian Grey, who has dark hair and green eyes. He’s only after her money and he’s a shady character.

Lorraine Dyer- Gloria’s best friend since they were eight years old. She has dark hair and hazel eyes. She’s very jealous of Gloria and has the hots for Gloria’s close male friend, Marcus Eastman. He’s got blond hair and green eyes. Lorraine is a villain who seems to only care about herself.

Clara Knowles- She’s Gloria’s eighteen year old cousin who’s from Pennsylvania. She’s got golden blond hair and blue eyes. She’s got some skeletons in her closet and those are revealed near the end of the book. She’s very likable.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a ‘young adult’ book but ignore that. The lead characters are seventeen and eighteen but they certainly don’t act like teens. This is a book for adults. Gloria falls for a black piano player named Jerome Johnson who works in a jazz club and there’s some serious drama with that toward the end of the story. I can’t wait to find out what happens with that in the next book, Ingenue.

I happen to like villainous females in fiction so I’d have to say Lorraine is my favorite. She makes a mess of things and later gets involved with a gangster named Carlito. Carlito is out to get Jerome for something horrible that happens.

At first, I really didn’t like Jerome’s younger sister, Vera, but she makes another appearance near the end and we find out she’s in cahoots with none other than Sebastian! She doesn’t like that Sebastain’s girlfriend, Gloria, is involved with her brother Jerome, so she sticks her nose where it does’t belong and things go downhill fast.

I’m so glad I read this. I’ve never really known much about the ’Flapper’ time period and thought it truly original to begin a series during that time. 

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

AIN'T NO SUNSHINE: Men Reveal the Pain of Heartbreak by Kimberley A. Johnson and Ann Werner

PUB. INFO: CreateSpace, May 2011
GENRE: Non Fiction
FORMAT: Paperback and Kindle

Synopsis from Amazon.com:
What sorrow lurks in the minds of men suffering from a broken heart? Ain’t No Sunshine knows! How do men feel when they lose someone they love? Do they cry? Do they obsess? Do they call psychics? Under the protection of anonymity, thirty-eight men describe in detail how they’ve dealt with the pain of heartbreak. Whether it’s because of divorce, betrayal, death or simply getting dumped, the raw honesty of these men may surprise you. Modern American society so often discourages men from admitting to emotional pain, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. From an early age men are taught to “suck it up.” Women often think men have it easier when it comes to the pain of heartbreak. But is that really the case? Ain’t No Sunshine provides an opportunity to unlock those mysteries in this informal collection of stories. Interviews with therapists, psychics and bartenders are included and provide informative insights into how men react to a broken heart. Love is never easy. Loss of love is always difficult. Here is proof that not only do men struggle, sometimes the struggle is more difficult than it is for women. Ain’t No Sunshine is a rare glimpse into the elusive male psyche.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a sad and very interesting glimse into the minds of men who are hurting after deaths and breakups. Some hurt just like women do but they mostly keep it inside. I liked hearing all the different stories and was surprised not only by how many men sought therapy, even years after their breakup, but by how many of them chose to not have sex for years afterward.

I do think men are less emotional, at least outwardly, than women and wasn’t surprise to read that a therapist said men tend to express themselves through writing and poetry.
I throughly enjoyed this book but wished it could have been longer.

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