June’s Favorite Reads

My favorite reads from June:

Mainstream

Title: Midnight Promises by Sherryl Woods
The Sweet Magnolias Book 8
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HarlequinMIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Summary:

When Elliott Cruz first courted struggling single mom Karen Ames, it it was a romance worthy of any Sweet Magnolia fantasy. The sexy personal trainer made it his mission to restore Karen’s strength—physical and emotional—and to charm her children.

Now, a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear them them apart. Elliott’s desire to finance the business opportunity of a lifetime with their hard-earned “baby money” stirs Karen’s deep-rooted financial insecurities. It’s the discovery that their brother-in-law is cheating on Elliott’s sister—and thinks it’s justified—that puts their irreconcilable differences into perspective. Will their own loving fidelity be a bond so strong they can triumph against all odds?

Read my review of Midnight Promises HERE.


M/M:

Title: Power Play: Awakening by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant
Power Play Series Book Two
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: M/M, Erotic, BDSM, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 292 pages/Word count: 95,000
Book Rating: B

Summary:

Brandon McKinney is a man reborn. Newly awakened to the notion of consensual power exchange and the submissive urges inside him, he begs for a second chance from the man who opened his eyes to this world: Silicon Valley superstar Jonathan Watkins. But no birth is absent pain, and Brandon’s is no exception. He fears he’s not strong enough to see it through.

Jonathan knows better. He’s seen the iron core inside his new submissive, and the wounded heart inside him too. He means to teach Brandon to heal the one with the other. They have five months left on their contract, after all, and Jonathan has done more with less before.

It’s tough to stay objective, though, when you’re falling in love. Shame Brandon doesn’t feel the same. He’s only there for the three-million-dollar payout at contract’s end—a fact that Jonathan, nursing his own wounded heart, reminds himself of each day. For even as Brandon’s barriers break and his mind expands, even as he grows to love his place at Jonathan’s feet, he’ll never love life with a sadist—especially one who cannot escape the public eye.

This title is #2 of the Power Play series.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: heavy kink.

Read my review of Power Play: Awakening HERE.


Erotic

Title: Forfeit by Zara Stoneley
Publisher: Xcite Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 168 pdf pages
Book Rating: B

Summary:

An erotic romance novel with themes including sex in public, spanking, exhibitionism and ménage.

Cat’s life is falling apart – her boyfriend’s dumped her, she’s lost her home and she’s about to quit her job. Her boss, Brent, has a solution: become his wife for a year, to help him land a big promotion. But Cat’s had a taste of Brent before, and she knows he’s a bad boy who loves women and leaves them. So she agrees to marry him, but tells him there’s to be no sex. He adds his own condition: if she as much as talks to another man in that time, she must pay, by acting out 12 of Brent’s kinkiest sex fantasies. When she breaks the rule, the forfeit is on: but opening up and letting Brent into her heart, as well as her bed, could be the most dangerous game of all …

Read my review of Forfeit HERE.


Mystery

Title: The Monet Murders by Jean Harrington
Murders by Design Book Two
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 71,000 words
Book Rating: B+

Summary:

Interior decorator Deva Dunne never dreamed she’d see a Monet hanging on someone’s dining room wall. Then she snags a client with two Monet seascapes. Her thrill lasts until she finds one of the paintings missing, cut from its frame, and the cook shot dead.

Rough-around-the edges, but gorgeous all-around police lieutenant Victor Rossi insists Deva leave the sleuthing to the police. But what could it hurt to come up with a list of suspects that doesn’t include herself? Like the owners of the Monets, a rich man and his trophy wife, and their frequent guests. Even the cook’s husband is suspect. Then Deva finds another victim, clutching a very strange set of clues.

Desperate to save her business amid the negative publicity, Deva helps Rossi investigate. And when he needs advice decorating his bedroom, she just might find a client for life. Unless a killer gets to her first.

71,000 words

Read my review of The Monet Murders HERE


Favorite Non-Reviewed Book

Title: The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 340 pages

Summary:

The midforties are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to sensible. But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.

After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can’t eat another casserole or swallow much more advice, and so, still numb, he escapes to Key West, then New York. He embraces a new mantra: Why the hell not? He becomes so spontaneous he’s ready to combust. First, he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next, it’s a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior, so youthfully oblivious he thinks Karen Carpenter is a lesbian woodworker.

Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life’s gravity spins Barry back to the town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say good-bye with grace.


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